About 15 years ago, I lived in New Zealand, where they celebrate the Queen’s Birthday on June 6th. But that’s not her birthday, nor does it have any significance to her, as far as I can find out. Someone did explain that there is a fixed day for the monarch’s birthday celebration so that it won’t change. Good idea, but why June 6th? I thought for awhile it was Victoria’s birthday, but no such luck. Any ideas? As an aside, I note that some Commonwealth countries (and even provinces of countries) observe the Queen’s Birthday on other dates, but June 6th is the date in the UK, and seems to be the most common date.
Queen Victoria was born on May 24th. Her birthday and that of the current sovereign are celebrated in Canada on the Monday preceding May 25th. June is pretty close to May. I suspect the holiday is celebrated in June in Australia since there are not other holidays in June and there is a benefit to having a standardized date for this sort of thing (business and vacation planning, etc.)
Apparently it’s the second Saturday in June here in the UK, although I can’t say I’ve ever noticed people dancing in the street on that day. They do hold a parade at Buckingham Palace called the Trooping of the Colour, mainly noted for the annoying way it throws the Saturday morning TV schedules out of whack.
As for why a fixed day, I imagine that they prefer it not to clash with public holidays and festivals. Maybe early June is a slack time in the social calendar.
An earlier monarch – I believe it was Victoria but I won’t vouch for that – had a birthday which fell in the cold, wet months. So her “official” birthday was celebrated during at a time of good weather, to allow for popular festivities. The tradition has been continued.
Nitpick, it’s held on Horse-Guards Parade and not at Buckingham Palace.
It’s the second Monday in June in NSW and the ACT. I’m not sure about the other states and territories. I’d be very surprised if it were a uniform date across the whole of Australia.
WA celebrates the Queen’s birthday on a different date. From here
In case it’s not clear from Dr_Paprika’s message, we (i.e. Canadians) don’t call it the Queen’s Birthday; we call it Victoria Day.
Or May 2-4, if you’re not using the official name.
It seems that New Zealand finally settled a non-changing day (first Monday in June) as Queen’s Birthday only by the Sovereign’s Birthday Observance Act of 1952, as Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne. Before then, we had the birthday celebration changing with each monarch between Queen Victoria (whose birthday, for some decades after her death, became Empire Day) and the present one. Perhaps they simply averaged it all out, and also worked in with what Australia had as observance days.