The Queen’s Birthday

Happy 95th Birthday to Queen Elizabeth II! She is 95 years old today.


Why does the Queen have two birthdays?


The Queen’s real birthday is on the 21st April and the second – the official celebration – is on the second Saturday in June. This tradition started in 1748 with King George II – he wanted to be able to have a big public celebration but his birthday was in November when the weather is bad so he started the tradition of having a second birthday in June. As April is famous for its April Showers the Queen has continued this tradition with an official, public, outdoor birthday celebration in June.


What is Trooping the Colour?


The Trooping the Colour parade* marks the Queen’s official birthday celebration in June (although last year it was cancelled). This parade involves over 1400 soldiers wearing the iconic red tunics and bearskins, around 200 horses and 400 musicians. One of the main attractions is the RAF Red Arrows flying over Buckingham Palace.


*El desfile anual que celebra el cumpleaños oficial de la reina.


How does the Queen celebrate her real birthday?


Usually, there is a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21-gun salute in Windsor Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London on 21st April to mark the Queen’s birthday. The Queen celebrates her real birthday in private with her family.


Vocabulario


Red tunics and bearskins = el uniforme típico de los soldados de Buckingham Palace – la túnica roja y el sombrero negro llamado bearskin porque está hecho con piel de oso canadiense.


RAF Red Arrows = son el grupo oficial de aviones acrobáticos y usan estelas de humo de colores, pertenecen al Royal Air Force (la fuerza aérea royal).


Gun salute = un saludo que se realiza disparando cañones como un honor militar. Se usa para varios acontecimientos reales.