It’s no secret that the Queen of England lives a pretty pampered life. According to Scoop Whoop, she enjoys a number of odd perks that her loyal subjects do not. For example, she doesn’t have to own a driver’s license to drive, or a passport to travel. She’s got her own ATM in her basement at Buckingham Palace. She owns the swans on the Thames and all of the dolphins that swim through British waters. She doesn’t even have to pay taxes (but she does anyway).
Then there are all the political perks. She can never be arrested or be subject to Freedom of Information requests. She can fire the Australian Prime Minister. All of this is typical monarch kind of stuff. But there’s one perk that might surprise you: Queen Elizabeth II actually gets to celebrate her birthday twice each year. But why? Let’s take a look at the origins of this quirky perk of the British monarchy.
QUEEN ELIZABETH DOESN’T WANT IT TO RAIN ON HER PARADE
Although it may sound like one perk too many, Queen Elizabeth II does get two birthdays per year, but the reason why actually makes some sense, for the royal family, at least. According to Town & Country, Elizabeth’s birthday is on April 21, a pretty rainy time of year in London. So she keeps it low-key with close family and the corgis, of course. Then, in sunny June, she has her grand parade, which is called Trooping the Colour, a horse-and-carriage affair in which she and the royal family end up on the balcony at Buckingham Palace for some waving.
This double birthday tradition started in 1748, when King George II just hitched his birthday party to the military march held each June. It’s a much more pleasant month for outside activities than the one in which he celebrated his second birthday each year: October. Ever since then, British monarchs have been able to take a rain check on their official birthdays and wait until the blue skies of summer for the big show. Who wouldn’t take that deal?