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Queen's Birthday in the United Kingdom

The Queen's birthday, also known as the Queen's Official Birthday, is usually celebrated on the second Saturday in June in the UK.

The British Royal Family in 2015.
The British Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony on the Queen's Official Birthday in 2015.
©iStockphoto.com/cheekylorns

What Do People Do?

On her official birthday, the Queen makes a public appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Her Majesty watches the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade, also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade, in London with other members of the Royal Family. The parade moves between Buckingham Palace, The Mall, and Horseguards’ Parade.

Public Life

The Queen awards Birthday Honours to citizens who have made achievements in public life or committed themselves to serving and helping Britain. Most awards are in the Order of the British Empire. However, there are many different degrees, and the Main Honours Committee decides which one a person receives.

People can get Birthday Honours for achievements like making a difference to their community or field of work, enhancing Britain’s reputation, long-term voluntary service, innovation and entrepreneurship, and displaying moral courage.

Some years the Queen presents the orders herself. Other years, a viceregal representative acts as the presenter. Honours have been awarded on the sovereign's birthday since at least 1885 when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Long Weekend

In British diplomatic missions, the Queens Official Birthday is treated as the UK's National Day. Although it is not a public holiday in the UK, some civil servants are given a ”privilege day” at this time of year. This is often merged with the Spring Bank Holiday on the last Monday in May to create a long weekend.

Actual Birthday in April

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of the House of Windsor was born on April 21, 1926. In 1952, when her her father, King George VI, died, Elizabeth succeeded to the throne, and today she is known as Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen celebrated her 60-year reign in 2012 with a Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday.

The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday: one in Hyde Park, another in Windsor Great Park and a third salute at the Tower of London.

Background

The monarch's birthday has been an official celebration in the UK since 1748 when King George II reigned. Since 1959, the Queen Elizabeth II's Official Birthday has been on the second Saturday of June.

Previously, the Queen's Birthday was celebrated on the second Thursday of June, the same day that her father, King George VI, celebrated his Official Birthday when he was on the throne.

Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910 and whose birthday was on 9 November, moved his ceremony to summer after 1908, in the hope of good weather.

About Queen's Birthday in other countries

Read more about Queen's Birthday.

Queen's Birthday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
SatJun 122010Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 112011Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 92012Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 82013Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 142014Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 132015Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 112016Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 102017Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 92018Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 82019Queen's BirthdayObservance 
SatJun 132020Queen's BirthdayObservance 

Quick Facts

Queen Elizabeth II usually celebrates her birthday on the second Saturday in June in the UK.

Queen's Birthday 2018

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Queen's Birthday 2019

Saturday, June 8, 2019

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Queen's BirthdayEnglish
Dronningens bursdagNorwegian

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in June 2018 in the United Kingdom

Fun Holiday on June 9, 2018

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