Queen Elizabeth II was entitled to celebrating her birthday twice a year, but will King Charles III follow in her footsteps and when would his birthdays be?
The United Kingdom and the Commonwealth recently welcomed their new royal leader, King Charles III, following the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022. With the transition of power, many people are curious about whether King Charles III will continue the tradition of celebrating two birthdays, similar to his predecessors.
Long-standing tradition of two birthdays
For centuries, it has been a long-standing tradition for monarchs to celebrate two birthdays. Queen Elizabeth II, the previous monarch, followed this practice by celebrating her actual day of birth on April 21 each year. However, the main public celebration, known as Trooping the Colour or the Queen's Birthday Parade, took place on the second Saturday of June. This tradition allowed for a grand public gathering and ensured favorable weather conditions for outdoor events.
According to The Evening Standard, the tradition of celebrating two birthdays began with King George II in 1748. King George II, born in November, decided to coincide his birthday celebrations with the annual military parade, Trooping the Colour, held in the summer. He believed that the public would find it challenging to celebrate in November, his actual birth month, due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Following his example, subsequent monarchs continued the tradition, including Queen Elizabeth II's great-grandfather, King Edward VII, whose birthday was celebrated in May and June throughout his reign.
When will King Charles' birthdays be?
King Charles III, born on November 14, 1948, will likely continue the tradition of having two birthdays given that the tradition has been a part of the monarch’s family for centuries.
If he chooses to follow the footsteps of his predecessors, his second celebration, colloquially known as the King's Birthday Parade, will take place in mid-June each year. While it may still officially be called Trooping the Colour, the name change could reflect the new monarch's reign.
According to The Mirror, Buckingham Palace has confirmed that King Charles III will indeed celebrate an official birthday in June, just like Queen Elizabeth II did throughout her 70-year reign.
The first official birthday celebration for King Charles III will occur on Saturday, June 17, 2023, with the traditional Trooping the Colour ceremonies. This impressive display of pageantry will take place on Horse Guards Parade, where regiments of the Household Division will participate, and His Majesty The King will attend and take the salute.
What's the meaning of Trooping the Color?
The Trooping the Colour parade is a historic military event that provides the monarch with an opportunity to inspect their personal troops, the Household Division. According to The Times, more than 1,400 officers, 200 horses, and over 400 musicians from ten bands participate in the parade. In the past, royal family members including Prince William, King Charles, Princess Anne and even Queen Elizabeth II have participated on horseback. It is unknown whether Charles plans to appear on horseback for his own parade now that he King.
The royals travel in procession via horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade, where the King is greeted with a royal salute and inspects the troops. The event derives its name from the musical troop performed by the band while the regimental flag, or colour, is carried down the ranks.
Following that, the royal family will gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet and observe the magnificent RAF flypast, offering an opportunity for the younger members of the family to be seen, as they are not yet involved in the morning carriage procession until they reach a certain age.