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Why the Queen’s birthday celebrations don’t fall on her actual birthday

The Queen's June birthday celebrations may have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Her Majesty actually already celebrated her 94th birthday in April.

You read that right – despite all the official festivities taking place in June, the Queen's birthday actually falls on April 21, leaving more than a few royal fans confused.

She's not the only royal to have a real birthday and an 'official' birthday that occur at totally different times of the year, but the reason behind the tradition is more practical than you'd ever expect.

The tradition began in 1748 with King George II, whose November birthday caused problems for the official royal birthday celebrations.

November is a notoriously cold and wet month in the UK, making it a poor choice for a celebratory parade, so George decided to move his birthday celebrations to the summer months.

Trooping the Colour, a major British military parade, was already a long-honoured tradition by the time George II took the throne, so he combined his birthday with the annual parade.

Since then, the event has come to mark the birthday of the British sovereign, and all monarchs after George II have had the option of choosing an "official" birthday to mark the occasion.

Queen Elizabeth II, being born on 21 April, chose to make the most of this option and originally set her official birthday on the second Thursday of June, the same date her father King George VI had chosen.

Later, in 1959, she moved her birthday celebrations to the second Saturday of June and has kept that date ever since.

Now, Trooping the Colour marks Her Majesty's birthday on the second Saturday of June every year, making the most of the temperate British summer.

It was slated for 13 June this year, but has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic in line with government advice.

"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 Palace statement read.

"A number of other options are being considered, in line with relevant guidance."

While the Queen was still able to mark her 'real' birthday in April, spending it in lockdown with Prince Philip in Windsor Castle, it's the June birthday celebrations she'll really miss.

Her Majesty celebrates her April birthday in private each year, holding off on the birthday fanfare until her 'official' June birthday celebrations - which sadly won't be going ahead this year.

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