Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 91st birthday today. Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926. She is Britain’s longest reigning monarch in British history. She achieved this feat last year in September. She has been queen for over six decades and had seen much change in the world and in her family while remaining a constant and adhering to her principles on her own. Queen Elizabeth II became the constitutional monarch of 16 countries and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England after her coronation in 1953. A movie was made on her life titled The Queen which won an Academy Award for Helen Mirren in 2007 who portrayed the monarch. Queen Elizabeth II has been monumental in guiding the world affairs in a big way. She is respected, revered and admired for her principles and her stand on most moral and political issues. Queen Elizabeth II is married to Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh since 1947 and has four children Charles – Prince of Wales, Anne – Princess Royal, Prince Andrew – Duke of York and Prince Edward – Earl of Wessex. Prince Charles who is the heir apparent after her has been the longest heir-in-waiting.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her birthday twice in a year. One is her actual birth date that is on April 21, 1926 and the other is celebrated as an “official” birthday in June. It is a tradition that was started by George II in 1748 because of the erratic weather in Britain. George II was born in November and felt that the weather at the time of his birthday will be too cold for his annual birthday parade. So he combined his birthday with an annual spring military parade called the Trooping the Colour, in which regiments displayed their colours and was held so that the soldiers could be familiar with the colours. The tradition has continued till this day and all sovereigns are given the option of an “official” birthday. The Queen’s Birthday Parade as it is called inspects soldiers from the Household Division. Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday was celebrated on a Thursday but was later changed to a Saturday in June so that more people can enjoy the parade since it is a holiday. This year ‘Trooping the Colour’ will take place on Saturday June 10, 2017.

President Pranab Mukherjee wished the Queen on her birthday. In a message, the President said, “On behalf of the Government and the people of India, it is with great pleasure that I convey warm greetings to you on the occasion of your birthday. Please accept, Your Majesty, our sincere wishes for your good health and well-being. I take this opportunity to also convey the greetings of the people of India to the friendly people of the United Kingdom on the occasion of ‘Queen’s Day’.”