It will soon be the Queen’s official birthday, and this year it is special because Her Majesty has turned 90. So get ready to celebrate. Find out
The Queen’s actual birthday was April 21st, and she was 90. However, we will be celebrating her ‘official’ birthday on Saturday June 11th. She has an official birthday on a Saturday in June each year. This tradition was established in 1748, by King George 2nd. George II was born in October, but the annual military parade in the summer became a celebration for him, as well as the nation.
The reason behind this is the British weather. The Royal Family want to hold the parade in the summer, when everyone has more chance of enjoying it. The Queen’s actual birthday is a much more private affair, although marked by gun salutes.
Many people believe the monarchy is a waste of resources and even want to abolish it. The Queen has no actual power, cannot influence anything political or make decisions for the country. She is a ‘Constitutional Monarch’ which means that she is little more than a figure-head, playing a lead role in ceremonies and acting as a tourist attraction – nothing more.
However, taking this attitude is short-sighted and superficial. It means ignoring the subconscious mind of the nation and the power of symbols. The Monarchy is an extremely potent symbol of dignity, unity and all that is good about being British.
A symbol is an outward sign of an inner reality, or an abstract reality. A good symbol says more than a thousand words and can give rise to feelings and motivations. The monarchy represents so many things, so many stories, so many emotions, standards and beliefs. In many ways the monarchy holds the country together, on a subtle level.
The monarchy, with all its trappings, speaks straight to the subconscious mind of each person and to the inner meanings of the nation. These ‘inner meanings’ may not be easy to put into words, but they are what bind us and define us. Carrying all of this is a heavy weight. The Queen can never be truly her own person for there are elements she can never display, if they do not conform to the requirements of her role. In quite a profound way the Queen has to ‘be’ the symbol the nation needs.
We know that not all royals behave the way we might like them to. They are real people, after all! Supporting the monarchy does not mean applauding all they do, or even being interested in their private lives. But Queen Elizabeth II has always performed in terms of what the nation expects. She has worked hard and successfully for many decades. In marking her official birthday we are acknowledging this and celebrating all the good things she represents.
The Queen’s Official Birthday is always marked by the Trooping of the Colour – a military parade that takes place in Horse Guards Parade in London. Following this it is traditional for the royal family to gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a military fly-past.
There will also be street parties and other celebrations going on close to you, so check your local press.
It’s always good to have an excuse for a party, so why not invite a few friends while you watch the pageants on telly? Here are some other ideas:
This article has clarified the Queen’s official birthday, explained the importance of the monarchy and looked at ways to celebrate. This is an occasion for communities to get together, which is lovely but can leave you feeling down and isolated if you don’t fit in. You are not alone! Our team of gifted and empathic Readers is available to help you, so don’t hesitate to put in a call.
PUBLISHED: 10 June 2016