Royalty has its privileges, and in the United Kingdom, one of those privileges is having two birthdays. For Britain's ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, the special days are April 21 – her actual date of birth – and one of the Saturdays in June, depending on the weather.
As spoiled as this might make the Queen sound, she didn't start the tradition. In 1748, King George II didn't like the idea of having the nation celebrate his real birthday in October, particularly because the English climate would probably rain on his parade. So he moved his celebration to summer to correspond with the annual military march. Since then, any reigning royal can do the same.
For the record, while Elizabeth II does celebrate somewhat in April, she keeps it private. She then brings out the horse and carriage for all to see in June. It's good to be queen.
Meet the Queen:
- Near the end of World War II, then-Princess Elizabeth joined the British military and trained to be a mechanic.
- "Gan-gan," "Lilibet," and "Cabbage" are a few of the nicknames the Queen has earned.
- Though she can drive – she learned in 1945 – Elizabeth II isn't required to have a license, a passport, or plates on her car.