Fairfield City Open Libraries: Heritage Blog

Queen’s Birthday

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor)

queen in ozDid you know that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth celebrates two birthdays each year? Her actual birthday is on 21st April and her official birthday is on a Saturday in June. In Australia, the Queen’s Birthday is a public holiday celebrated in most states and territories on the second Monday in June, making for a much-looked-forward-to June long weekend.

Official celebrations to mark Sovereigns’ birthday have often been held on a day other than the actual birthday, particularly when the actual birthday has not been in the summer. King Edward VII, for example, was born on 9   November, but his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.

The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday: a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower  of  London. In 2006, Her Majesty celebrated her 80th Birthday in 2006 with a walkabout in the streets outside of  Windsor  Castle to meet well-wishers.

On her official birthday, Her Majesty is joined by other members of the Royal Family at the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade which moves between Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Horse guards’ Parade.

The Queen during her first visit to Australia in 1954


The Queen in Australia is a rare archival gem from Film Australia that documents the two-month official visit, in February and March 1954, of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. This was her first visit to Australia and the first by a reigning monarch. The film was shot by a total of 16 cameramen, documenting her  visits to each state capital and many regional areas. Reminisce the royal tour by watching video clips at: http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/the-queen-in-australia  and Australia Women’s Weekly’s featured article – A royal visit: Queen Elizabeth in Australia

[Source: The official website of the British Monarchy and AWW]


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