The tradition is believed to have started during the reign of King George II in 1748

By Erin Hill
June 09, 2018 06:35 AM
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Queen Elizabeth
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Queen Elizabeth may have celebrated her 95th birthday in April, but the festivities are far from over. That’s because the monarch has a public and an official birthday.

The Queen, who was born on April 21, 1926, celebrated her birthday privately at Windsor Castle, where she has been isolating amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It also marked her first birthday without her beloved husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died on April 9 at the age of 99.

While the Queen typically celebrates her actual birthday privately with the rest of the royal family, it’s also customary to celebrate a sovereign’s birthday publicly on a day during the summer, when the weather is nicer (yes, really!).

Queen Elizabeth II Visits The Science Museum
Credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

King Edward VII, for example, was born on November 9, but his official birthday was always celebrated in May or June, when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade (also known as Trooping of the Colour).

The tradition is believed to have started during the reign of King George II in 1748. George II was born in October, but the annual Trooping of the Colour became a celebration of the King — as well as the armed forces.

Trooping The Colour
Trooping the Colour 2019
| Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Since then, the reigning monarch’s official summer birthday has always been marked by the annual ceremony, which is typically held on the second Saturday in June.

This year’s Trooping the Colour celebration, however, have been scaled0down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Just like last year, the event will take place at Windsor Castle.

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“In line with Government advice, it has been agreed that The Queen’s Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will not go ahead in its traditional form,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read. “A number of other options are being considered, in line with relevant guidance.”