Kenya prepares to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday

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Queen's 90th birthday in Nairobi
The UK High Commission celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. Photo: Twitter/alykhansatchu

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, is hosting a celebration for the Queen’s 90th birthday tonight, at the end of a packed day during which England beat Wales 2-1 in the Euro 2016 competition.

Mr Hailey also took time to head down to the NTV studios to record an interview with Larry Madowo during which he revealed why the Queen has two birthdays.

Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21 April 1926. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Her Majesty celebrates two birthdays every year: her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June.

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

The tradition is linked to the unreliable British weather because the Royal family want to hold the grand royal birthday parade in the summer.

King Edward VII, for example, 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.

It is believed that the tradition started during the reign of King George II in 1748. He was born in October but the annual summer military cavalcade became a celebration of the king as well as the armed forces.

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