King’s Official Birthday in the UK Date in the current year: June 15, 2024

King’s Official Birthday in the UK The King’s Official Birthday (known as the Queen’s Official Birthday during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II) is observed in most Commonwealth countries. In the United Kingdom, the sovereign’s birthday is officially celebrated on the first, second, or third Saturday in June, although King Charles III was born on November 14. Other Commonwealth realms may celebrate it on other days.

The monarch’s birthday was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in 1748. Celebrations were originally held on the monarch’s actual birthday. However, when King Edward VII ascended to the throne, he changed the date. The matter was that the King was born on November 9 so he decided to move official celebrations to summer in the hope of good weather. His successors decided not to change the date back.

In the United Kingdom, the King’s Official Birthday celebrations typically include the ceremony of Trooping the Colour, also referred to as the King’s Birthday Parade. The roots of Trooping the Colour date back to the 17th century; this long-standing tradition of British infantry became a part of the monarch’s birthday celebrations in 1748. Trooping the Colour was held even during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, although the ceremony was scaled back and took place at Windsor Castle.

Although the King’s Official Birthday is not a public holiday per se since it is always celebrated on a Saturday, which is not a working day for most people , some civil servants are granted a “privilege day” (a day of annual leave) in honor of the sovereign’s birthday, which is typically attached to the Spring Bank Holiday to create a long weekend.

Many Commonwealth countries also celebrate the King’s Official Birthday, but they chose their own dates for the holiday. These dates are generally around May or June. In some Commonwealth realms, the King’s Birthday is an official public holiday. Celebrations typically include military parades, firework displays, and the release of the King’s Birthday Honours List.

In New Zealand, Niue and the Cook Islands, the holiday is held on the first Monday in June. In New Zealand, there have been proposals to rename it after Edmund Hilary (the first person to ascend Everest) or replace it with Maori New Year (Matariki) as a public holiday. Matariki indeed became a public holiday in 2022, but it did not replace the sovereign’s birthday.

In Australia, the King’s Official Birthday is observed on the second Monday in June, with the state of Western Australia and Queensland being exceptions. The holiday has been celebrated in Australia since 1788. Today, it also marks the beginning of the ski season as June is the first month of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Papua New Guinea also celebrates the holiday on this date.

Other possible dates of the holiday in the Commonwealth realms include the third Monday of June (Saint Helena and Ascension Island, Turks and Caicos) and the second Saturday of June (Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands). Fiji used to celebrate the sovereign’s birthday until it was abolished in 2012.

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King’s Official Birthday, holidays in Great Britain, holidays in the United Kingdom, Sovereign's birthday