Why does King Charles III have two birthdays?

King Charles III, speaks with guests as he and the Princess Royal present the new Sovereign's Standard to the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London.
Trooping the Colour is the ‘official’ birthday of the monarch (Picture: Victoria Jones/PA)

Throughout her 70 year reign, one particular perk of Queen Elizabeth’s that stuck out was the fact that she got two birthdays – something the rest of us could only dream of.

Her Majesty was born on April 21 1926, but her ‘official birthday celebration’ took place with Trooping the Colour each year – a summertime parade, usually in June.

With the Trooping of the Colour taking place today – June 17 – King Charles is set to continue the tradition for the first time as monarch, celebrating his ‘official birthday’.

But why does the King have two birthdays, and how did the tradition begin?

Why does King Charles III have two birthdays?

King Charles will carry on the tradition of Trooping the Colour, which dates all the way back to 1748.

So, as a result, it’s implied he will indeed continue having two birthdays.

The first royal ruler to have two birthday celebrations was the Queen’s distant relative, King George II – who wished to throw a public celebration, with a parade and plenty of pomp and circumstance to mark the occasion of his birthday.

However, having been born in November, the odds on the weather holding out for a huge outdoor bash in the UK were pretty slim.

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Instead, the monarch decided to use the UK’s annual military parade held in the summer as his official birthday celebration, meaning that he would mark his birthday twice – once for the public in the summer and once in private in November.

Rather conveniently, our now King’s birthday is also in November – so Charles’ decision to host Trooping the Colour 2023 on June 17 feels more connected to history than ever before.

When it’s eventually time for the nation to have a King William, the tradition of two birthdays might come to an end.

This is because William’s birthday is already in June.

MORE : Watch live: King Charles III’s first Trooping the Colour as monarch

MORE : 10 most memorable royal moments from Trooping the Colour over the years

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