World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Queen's Official Birthday

In Jersey, the Lieutenant Governor hosts a reception for the public at Government House to mark the Queen's Official Birthday, at which he announces the names of recipients of Birthday Honours.

The Queen's Official Birthday, or King's Official Birthday in the reign of a male monarch, is the selected day in some Commonwealth realms on which the birthday of the monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) is officially celebrated in those countries.

The sovereign's birthday was first officially marked in the United Kingdom in 1748, for King British Empire and later the Commonwealth according to either different royal proclamations issued by the sovereign or governor or by statute laws passed by the local parliament. The date of the celebration today varies as adopted by each country and is generally set around the end of May to start of June, to coincide with a high probability of fine weather in the Northern Hemisphere for outdoor ceremonies, rather than with the monarch's actual birthday, that of the present monarch being 21 April.[1] In some cases, it is an official public holiday, sometimes aligning with the celebration of other events. Most Commonwealth realms release a Queen's Birthday Honours list at this time.


  • Australia 1
  • Canada 2
  • Fiji 3
  • New Zealand 4
  • United Kingdom 5
  • Other countries and territories 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Except in the state of Western Australia, Australia observes the Queen's Birthday on the second Monday in June. Because Western Australia celebrates Western Australia Day (formerly known as Foundation Day) on the first Monday in June, the Governor of Western Australia each year proclaims the day on which the state will observe the Queen's Birthday, based on school terms and the Perth Royal Show.[2] There is no firm rule to determine this date, though it is usually the last Monday of September or the first Monday of October. In 2012, Queensland celebrated the holiday in October, as the June holiday was reserved to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee as Queen of Australia, after which the holiday has reverted to its traditional date in line with the other eastern Australian states.[3]

Aussie Rules Football Queen's Birthday holiday game, 2011

The day has been celebrated since 1788, when Elizabeth II's birthday falls shortly after holidays for Good Friday and Easter and very close to ANZAC Day.

The Queen's Birthday weekend and Empire Day (24 May) were the traditional times for public fireworks displays in Australia. The sale of fireworks to the public was banned in various states through the 1980s and by the Australian Capital Territory on 24 August 2009. Tasmania is the only state and the Northern Territory the only territory to still sell fireworks to the public.[5] The Queen's Birthday Honours List, in which new members of the Order of Australia and other Australian honours are named, is released on the date of the Queen's Birthday in most states.


A bread ticket from the City of Toronto granting the holder one loaf in celebration of the Queen's birthday

A Edward VIII (their actual birthdays).

Ottawa, Ontario, on his official birthday, 1939

Governor-General-in-Council moved Empire Day and an amendment to the law moved Victoria Day both to the Monday before 25 May,[7][9] and the monarch's official birthday in Canada was by regular viceregal proclamations made to fall on this same date every year between 1953 and 1957, when the link was made permanent.[7][10] The two holidays are in law entirely distinct except for being appointed to be observed on the same day; it is a general holiday in Nunavut[11] and New Brunswick (there prescribed as a day of rest on which retail businesses must be closed[12]).[13] The Queen's official birthday is marked by the firing of an artillery salute in the national and provincial capitals and the flying of the Royal Union Flag on buildings belonging to the federal Crown, if there is a second pole available.

The reigning Canadian monarch has been in Canada for his or her official birthday twice. The first time was 20 May 1939, when King George VI was on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and his official birthday was celebrated with a Charles, Prince of Wales, heir to the Canadian throne, and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in 2012 attended events in Saint John, New Brunswick, and Toronto, Ontario, marking the queen's official birthday.[16] The couple did the same in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in 2014.[17]


Despite Fiji ceasing to be a Commonwealth realm in 1987, following a second military coup d'état, the Queen's Birthday continued to be celebrated each 12 June until 2012. That year, the military government of Commodore Frank Bainimarama announced the holiday would be abolished.[18]

New Zealand

In New Zealand, the holiday is the first Monday in June. Celebrations are mainly official, including the Queen's Birthday Honours list and military ceremonies.[19] There have been proposals, with some political support,[20][21] to replace the holiday with Matariki (Māori New Year) as an official holiday. The idea of renaming the Queen's Birthday weekend to Hillary weekend, after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to ascend Mount Everest, was raised in 2009.[22]

United Kingdom

The monarch's birthday has been celebrated in the United Kingdom since 1748. There, the Queen's Official Birthday is now marked on the first, second, or third Saturday in June and,[23] since 1974, it has been the Saturday in the range 11 – 17 June. Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910 and whose birthday was on 9 November, after 1908 moved the ceremony to summer in the hope of good weather.[23][24]

Queen Elizabeth II at the Trooping the Colour, London, on her Official Birthday, 14 June 2008

The day is marked in London by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour, which is also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade. The list of Birthday Honours is also announced at the time of the Official Birthday celebrations. In British diplomatic missions, the day is treated as the National Day of the United Kingdom. Although it is not celebrated as a specific public holiday in the UK (as it is not a working day), some civil servants are given a "privilege day" at this time of year, which is often merged with the Spring Bank Holiday (last Monday in May) to create a long weekend, which was partly created to celebrate the monarch's birthday.

Other countries and territories

Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands both celebrate the Queen's Official Birthday on the second Monday of June. Tuvalu does so on the second Saturday of June.[25] In Saint Kitts and Nevis, the date of the holiday is set each year.[26]

The Queen's official birthday is a public holiday in Gibraltar and most other British overseas territories (known as Crown colonies until 1981). In 2008, the Government of Bermuda decided in 2009 that the day would be replaced by National Hero's Day,[27] despite protests from people on the island, who signed a petition calling for its retention.[28] The Falkland Islands celebrate the actual day of the Queen's birth, 21 April, as June occurs in late autumn or winter in the Falklands. It is a public holiday in Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha, where it falls on the third Monday in April. Norfolk Island celebrates the Queen of Australia's birthday on the Monday after the second Saturday in June.

See also


  1. ^ The Royal Household. "Her Majesty The Queen > Early life". Queen's Printer. Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Department of Consumer and Employment Protection, Labour Relations division". 17 August 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Holiday double treat for Queen's big year". Brisbane Times. Australian Associated Press. 6 November 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Advertising". The Queanbeyan Age (NSW: National Library of Australia). 6 June 1913. p. 5. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Cracker down: ACT bans fireworks". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  6. ^ Elizabeth II (5 February 1957), Parliament of Canada, ed., "A Proclamation" (PDF), Canada Gazette (Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada), retrieved 7 May 2015 
  7. ^ a b c d Department of Canadian Heritage. "Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion > Victoria Day > Sovereign's Birthday". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  8. ^ Library and Archives Canada (2007), The Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Queen's Printer for Canada, p. 573 
  9. ^  
  10. ^ Elizabeth II (11 October 1957), Proclaimed for Celebration of Queen's Birthday (PDF), Queen's Printer for Canada, retrieved 24 May 2011 
  11. ^ "Labour Standards Act, RSNWT (Nu) 1988, c L-1". Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Days of Rest Act: Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Employment Standards Be Informed: Paid Public Holidays and Vacation/Vacation Pay" (PDF). Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Gary (1989). Royal Spring: The Royal Tour of 1939 and the Queen Mother in Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 30.  
  15. ^ Department of Canadian Heritage. "Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion> Victoria Day> Observance in Canada of the Sovereign's Birthday". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  16. ^ Department of Canadian Heritage. "Topics > Monarchy in Canada > 2012 Royal Tour > 2012 Royal Tour Itinerary". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Janus, Andrea (20 May 2014). "Being a grandfather puts world’s challenges 'in sharper focus': Prince Charles". CTV. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Fiji Scraps Queen's birthday holiday".  
  19. ^  
  20. ^ "Mayor Joins Call For Matariki Public Holiday".  
  21. ^ "No Celebrations For Queen's Birthday".  
  22. ^ "Call to rename Queen's birthday to Hillary weekend?". tvnz. 31 May 2009. 
  23. ^ a b "The Queen's birthdays"., the Official Website of the British Monarchy. Retrieved 1 July 2011. The current Queen Elizabeth II celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June. 
  24. ^ The Times 9 November 1908 published the King's Birthday Honours list, apparently the first occasion of such awards. The lists were subsequently published on the monarch's official birthday in June
  25. ^ " Index". BRC Online. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  26. ^ "Culture". St Kitts & Nevis. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  27. ^ "National Heroes' holiday is in June". The Royal Gazette. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  28. ^ "Bermuda ditches Queen's Birthday public holiday".  

External links

  • BBC News article of 2001 about the date of the Queen's Official Birthday in the UK
  • The Queen's two Birthdays, Official Website of the British Monarchy
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.