The King Has Two Official Birthday: Why Is That

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The King Has Two Official Birthday: Why Is That

King Charles’s birthday parade will take place on Saturday, 15 June, showcasing a spectacular display of pomp and pageantry through central London.

Although the monarch’s actual birthday is on 14 November, Charles celebrates his special day twice. This tradition of holding official celebrations on a different day, especially in the summer, dates back to when sovereigns’ birthdays did not fall in the warmer months.

For instance, King Edward VII, born on 9 November, celebrated his official birthday in May or June to ensure better weather for the parade, known as Trooping the Colour.

Similarly, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday was 21 April, but she always celebrated it officially on a Saturday in June.

What Happens at Trooping the Colour?

Trooping the Colour has celebrated the monarch’s official birthday for over 260 years, and Saturday will be Charles’s second appearance at the event as King.

Over 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians will participate in a display of military precision, horsemanship, and fanfare. The parade travels from Buckingham Palace down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, concluding with a Royal Air Force fly-past.

This year, due to the King’s ongoing cancer treatment, he will travel by carriage with the Queen to review the soldiers.

During the ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, the King is expected to review the Guardsmen and officers from an Ascot Landau carriage alongside the Queen.

This change from last year’s ceremony, where Charles inspected the troops on horseback, aligns with previous Buckingham Palace briefings indicating that each of the King’s engagements would be reviewed and adapted based on medical advice.

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