Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her 95th birthday this month, six years after she became the longest-reigning English monarch in history.
Although the late Queen Mother gave birth to Queen Elizabeth II in April, public celebrations for her birthday do not take place until June, and the official celebration date changes every year.
Her forthcoming birthday will mark the first of her celebrations in many years which will go ahead without Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on April 9 aged 99.
The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest serving consort in British history and was married to the Queen for 73 years. The Royal Family marked the late Duke's passing on Saturday at a church service at St George's Chapel, Windsor.
Ahead of the Queen's birthday, here is everything you need to know about her 95th birthday celebrations this year, from how she will mark the day to the Trooping the Colour.
When was the Queen born?
Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926.
She was the first born child of King George VI and his wife, the Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Her younger sister, Princess Margaret, was born in August 1930. On 6 February 1952, Her Majesty acceded to the throne after the sudden and untimely death of her father when she was aged just 25.
Why does the Queen have two birthdays?
Queen Elizabeth’s birthday parade usually takes place in June, and not her birth month April, due to unpredictable British weather.
The June tradition dates back to the 1700s, when George II in 1748 decided - unsurprisingly for many Brits - that it would be too cold to have the Trooping the Colour parade on his actual birthday in November.
When she first became Queen, the royal chose to hold her 'official' birthday, as it's now known, on the second Thursday of June which was the day her father chose to celebrate his official big day.
However, in 1959 the Queen decided her official birthday should be held two days later, on the second Saturday of June, instead, which is a tradition that's been upheld ever since.
What did the Queen say on her birthday?
The Queen issued a public statement on her 95th birthday, marking the first time she has spoken publicly since confirming the news of her husband Prince Philip's death on April 9.
In a statement issued by Buckingham Palace on April 21, the royal thanked the public for both her birthday wishes and the tributes paid to her late husband over the past fortnight.
I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate.
While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.
My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.
How will the Queen mark her birthday?
The Queen will celebrate her official birthday on April 21, presumably with close family members in keeping with current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. The Telegraph reports she's expected to enjoy a 'quiet lunch' with close family members at Windsor Castle.
It's also believed the Queen will not mark her birthday with a new portrait and that the Royal family’s social media channels will likely be the only way The Firm will commemorate her 95th birthday.
The royal's birthday is usually also accompanied by gun salutes in Hyde Park and the Tower of London. However, for the first time since she began her reign, the gun salutes didn't go ahead as planned last year as Her Royal Highness was adamant that there 'would be no special measures which would go against government coronavirus restrictions'. But for the second consecutive year the salute has been canceled, the Ministry of Defence stated, according to The Telegraph.
Why will there be no gun salute for the Queen's birthday this year?
There will be no gun salute to mark the Queen’s 95th birthday on Wednesday, April 21 as she continues to mourn the loss of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Special gun salute tributes across the UK were permitted after the passing of Prince Phillip, on April 9.
What is Trooping the Colour?
The Trooping of Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years. According to the Royal Household website, the event sees over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians put on a display of great military precision and fanfare to celebrate the monarch.
The public usually show support and well wishes for the Queen during the event, such as lining the streets with British flags and other flag memorabilia or celebrating with parties at home.
The parade itself travels from Buckingham Palace in London and down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, alongside Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages.
Buckingham Palace recently announced that the event would be cancelled for the second year in a row, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Alternative plans for a parade in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle are reportedly being considered for this year's celebration. In 2020, a 'mini Trooping' was staged at Windsor Castle, for the Queen and Prince Philip to attend.
The annual garter service, usually held in June, will also not take place this year.
Will Prince Harry be in the UK for the Queen's birthday?
According to numerous reports, Prince Harry may delay his return to the US until after his grandmother's 95th birthday.
The rumours come amid The Daily Mail's report that Prince Harry and Prince William are believed to have held 'two hours of peace talks' following his return to the UK for the funeral, and the pair reportedly met with Prince Charles after the church service on Saturday.
Despite the rumours and suggestions about Prince Harry's delayed return home to the US, it has now been reported that Prince Harry has been spotted back in LA.
According to a report by HELLO!, the Duke of Sussex was photographed arriving in Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon following his visit to the UK for his grandfather's funeral. The photos published by The Sun, show Prince Harry departing from LAX airport on April 20 and again as he arrived in Montecito, Santa Barbara.
Buckingham Palace however, has reportedly, via The Telegraph, confirmed that the Queen will attend the state opening of parliament at the Palace of Westminster on May 11, and is likely to be accompanied by the Prince of Wales.
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