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- There are special ways the members of the royal family celebrate their birthdays.
- Queen Elizabeth typically celebrates her birthday twice per year.
- Trooping the Color typically commemorates the queen’s special day.
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Birthdays can be one of the most special days of the year, especially when you’re royalty.
Members of the British royal family probably don’t celebrate their birthdays the way you’d expect- in particular, the queen’s birthday comes with some extra special celebrations.
Here’s how members of the royal family typically celebrate their birthdays.
They traditionally get the day off.
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According to Hello!, royals traditionally have the day off on their birthday, meaning they generally don’t have any formal appearances or meetings to attend.
But they don’t always follow that tradition.
When Meghan Markle turned 37 in August, she spent the day celebrating the wedding of Prince Harry’s close childhood friend, Charlie van Straubenzee, as per Town & Country’s reports.
And, in 2018, Prince William spent his birthday attending the opening ceremony of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in Northampton.
Sometimes they commission special cakes.
- Getty/John Stillwell
In 2016, “Great British Bake Off” champion Nadiya Hussain received the honor of baking the queen’s 90th birthday cake.
“A couple of weeks ago, I just got a phone call to say, ‘Hey, would you like to do this?'” Hussain told NPR before the big day.
“And my initial reaction was ‘no,’ because I was so afraid of getting it horribly wrong. And then it dawned on me that I can’t say no to the queen. So once I got over the nerves, I thought, well, actually this is such an honor, how can I possibly say no?”
She said she decided to bake a fairly simple cake with orange drizzle.
In the past, some royal birthday cakes have reportedly been pretty unique.
Princess Diana was known for her sense of humor and it seemingly applied when it came to ordering cakes. Her former head chef, Darren McGrady, said he found an extra special custom cake in the family’s fridge on Prince William’s 13th birthday.
“I came into work that morning and went down to the refrigerator, opened the door and I was just confronted with the biggest pair of boobs I’ve ever seen in my life,” McGrady told Hello! Magazine. “The Princess had ordered a boobs cake for William’s 13th birthday.”
Most royal birthday celebrations are usually low-key.
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It’s not unusual for royal family members to spend their birthday having a private celebration at home.
Typically, the queen spends her birthday privately. And as per E!’s reports, Kate Middleton has spent some of her birthdays having a quiet celebration at home. Prince William has also spent some of his birthdays in private, as per Vanity Fair.
Milestone birthdays might call for a little extra celebration.
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Prince Charles’ birthday isn’t until November, but the Prince of Wales attended an early birthday celebration in May- it was an extravagant, 300-guest gala in his honor. The celebration also recognized his avid support for the arts.
Some of the performers at the gala included Stephen Fry, Dame Judy Dench, and Sir Kenneth Branagh, according to Express.
You can expect to hear a gun salute on the queen’s birthday.
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The British army commemorates the queen’s birthday each year with a gun salute.
According to the official royal website, during midday, there is “a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London.”
The ruling monarch typically celebrates their birthday twice per year.
The royal family’s website explains that although the queen was born in April, her birthday is typically celebrated in public on the second Saturday in June.
According to BBC, it’s partially due to the good weather associated with that day. King George II started this tradition in 1748 because his birthday was in November, which is not known for great weather.
He decided that June would be a better time to celebrate a birthday, thus the tradition for a public birthday celebration for monarchs began.
Trooping the Color also commemorates the queen’s special day.
- REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
For the queen’s June birthday celebration, the streets are filled with waving flags, men on horseback, and plenty of fanfare for the Trooping the Color parade.
The royal family attends on horseback or in carriages. As per the official royal website, the parade concludes with the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the Royal Air Force fly past.
In the past, the queen’s birthday included a concert extravaganza.
- Wikimedia Commons/Diliff
For her actual 92nd birthday last year, the queen attended a concert extravaganza at the Royal Albert Hall. The diverse list of performers included Shawn Mendes, Sting, Shaggy, and Kylie Minogue, representing many countries of the Commonwealth.
The celebration aired on BBC and the music from the celebration was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2.