Hot topics close

On This Day: Why are we celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s birthday in June?

Today isn't the actual birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. So why are we celebrating it on June 8? It's all about royal tradition.

On Monday, Australians in some states and territories will take a day off to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.

But June 8 isn’t the actual birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was actually born in London on April 21, 1926.

So, what are we doing celebrating her day on June 8?

The Queen was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. Here she is pictured at aged two. Photo: Getty

The tradition of celebrating the king or queen dates all the way back to 1748, when the monarch’s birthday was officially marked in the Kingdom of Great Britain for King George II.

Since then, the date of the king or queen’s birthday has been determined throughout the British Empire, and later the Commonwealth of Nations, either by Royal Proclamations issued by the monarch or governor, or by statute laws passed by the local parliament.

A portrait of King George II in 1683. Photo: Getty

The celebration date varies across Australia.

In all states and territories except Queensland and Western Australia, the Queen’s Birthday is observed on the second Monday in June.

This year in Queensland, it will be celebrated on October 5, and in Western Australia it will be marked on September 28.

The Queen, now aged 94, was pictured last week riding her horse at Windsor Castle. Photo: Getty

The Queen’s Birthday is also celebrated in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the British territories of Gibraltar near Spain, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha and Norfolk Island.

In Canada, Victoria Day is a federal public holiday in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday, and is now celebrated as the official birthday of the current Queen of Canada.

The monarch’s birthday was first celebrated in Australia in 1788.

In that year, King George III was the monarch and Governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark his birthday.

Originally, the monarch’s birthday was celebrated on the anniversary of the actual date of birth of the King or Queen.

But after the death of King George V in 1936, the date remained close to his birthday on June 3.

Similar shots
This week's most popular shots