April 21 - Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday (No, I Mean It - Her ACTUAL Birthday!)

Posted on April 21, 2018

Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom of all the British overseas territories, and she is also Head of the Commonwealth. She is the queen or titular head of state of a lot of independent nations that belong to the Commonwealth - such as Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, the Bahamas, Tuvalu, and so forth.

I noticed that many of these nations celebrate their queen's birthday on different dates. Most Australia states and territories celebrate the Queen of Australia's birthday on the second Monday in June. (Again, remember that the "Queen of Australia" is the same "Queen of the U.K." - in other words - Elizabeth II.) Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands also celebrate on the second Monday in June. In Canada, the Queen's birthday is celebrated on the last Monday before May 25. New Zealand celebrates on the first Monday of June, and Tuvalu celebrates on the second Saturday of June. You notice, I hope, that most countries are celebrating on Mondays - rather than a specific date - because, I suppose, they want a three-day weekend!

I also read that choosing all of these May and June dates is an attempt to have a day with good weather for an outdoor ceremony, in the Northern Hemisphere. (But note that many, many of the nations and territories are in the Southern Hemisphere or are pretty equatorial. Hmmm...)

Even the United Kingdom itself celebrates their queen's birthday in June - in this case, the second Saturday of June.

The Falklands in June.
Chilly, for sure!
Only one Commonwealth realm that I could find celebrates Queen Elizabeth II's birthday on her actual birthday (today!): the Falkland Islands. Not only are these islands in the Southern Hemisphere, they are far from equatorial! So June in the Falklands is almost a guarantee of very chilly, possibly downright cold and stormy, and even May is pretty iffy.

Above, a special commemorative coin celebrating
the queen's 90th birthday, from the Falkland Islands.

Below, an Elizabeth II birthday parade in the Falklands:

For a while, Queen Victoria held the record of longest British monarch's rule. She was 81 when she died; she had ruled for more than 63 years. Western historians ended up naming her particular historical time period the Victorian Era. 

But it is Elizabeth II who now holds the records:

Longest-lived British monarch (she turns 92 today)

Longest-ruling British monarch (66 years and counting)

Only British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee (marking a 65-year reign)

World's longest-reigning queen regnant 

World's longest-reigning current monarch

World's oldest current monarch

World's longest-serving current head of state

Also on this date:

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