Update: Why Does King Charles Have Two Birthdays And When Are They
King Charles’s birthday parade took place on Saturday 17 June, which saw a spectacular display of pomp and pageantry through central London.The monarch’s actual birthday isn’t until 14 November, so why does Charles celebrate his special day twice?Official celebrations to mark the sovereigns’ birthday have often been held on a day other than their actual birthday, particularly when

Why Does King Charles Have Two Birthdays And When Are They

King Charles’s birthday parade took place on Saturday 17 June, which saw a spectacular display of pomp and pageantry through central London.

The monarch’s actual birthday isn’t until 14 November, so why does Charles celebrate his special day twice?

Official celebrations to mark the sovereigns’ birthday have often been held on a day other than their actual birthday, particularly when the day has not fallen on a day in the summer.

King Edward VII was born on 9 November, but his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the birthday parade, also 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 marked the monarch’s official birthday for over 260 years, and Saturday will mark Charles’s first appearance at the event as King.

Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians take part in the display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare.

The royals gather on the balcony to watch the flypast

The parade travels from Buckingham Palace down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade and closes with a Royal Air Force fly-past.

The King and Queen will be joined by members of the royal family, with Camilla and the Princess of Wales expected to be joined by Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in the carriage procession.

Meanwhile, Charles will ride on horseback with the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Edinburgh.

An extended military flypast will take place following Trooping the Colour after the display on coronation day had to be scaled down due to bad weather.

Around 70 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force will take part in the flypast.

The royals are expected to watch from the palace balcony as the aircraft flies over The Mall and Buckingham Palace in a six-minute display.

Royal Firsts at Trooping the Colour 2023

King Charles rode on horseback during the parade, marking the first time in more than 30 years that a monarch has ridden at Trooping the Colour.

The late Queen Elizabeth II’s last appearance on horseback was in 1986, and in the years after that, she watched proceedings from a carriage.

Meanwhile, there will be a royal first for the Duke of Edinburgh, as he is set to join his brother Charles, sister Princess Anne and nephew Prince William, on horseback at the ceremony.  

It will also mark the first time that Queen Camilla, the Princess of Wales and the Princess Royal will attend Trooping the Colour with their new military roles.

Camilla was made Colonel of the Grenadier Guards last December, while Kate has taken over her husband’s role as Colonel of the Irish Guards. William is now Colonel of the Welsh Guards.

Last month it was also confirmed that Anne has been appointed the Senior Colonel of the Household Division by the King.

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