The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year – her private birthday and an official birthday.
The Queen’s Private Birthday
Queen Elizabeth was born on 21 April 1926. The Queen usually spends her birthday privately however the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London in Hyde Park, at the Windsor Great Park and at the Tower of London.
The Queen’s Official Birthday
The Queen’s official birthday is held on a Saturday in early June. To celebrate a spectacular Trooping the Colour parade is always held, which travels between Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Horseguards’ Parade. Queen’s Birthday celebrations also take place in several Commonwealth countries.
An official birthday for the British Sovereign has been held in the summer months since 1805 – the occasion allows the general public the opportunity to celebrate in warmer weather.
Main Image: Queen Elizabeth II distributes Maundy Money during the traditional Royal Maundy Service at Westminster Abbey on her 85th birthday on 21 April 2011. Buckingham Palace said it was the first time the Queen’s birthday had fallen on Maundy Thursday. Each Maundy money recipient – all retired pensioners invited in recognition of their service to the church and the community – will receive two purses – one red and one white – in the centuries-old tradition. The red purse contains a £5 coin commemorating the Duke of Edinburgh’s 90th birthday in June 2011 and a 50p coin marking the 2012 London Olympic Games. The white purse holds uniquely minted Maundy Money of silver one, two, three and four penny pieces, the sum of which always equals the Queen’s age. Photo: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire