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Queen's Birthday Holiday

A Moveable Feast

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Queen Elizabeth II at the Sydney Opera House, March 13, 2006

Queen Elizabeth II at the Sydney Opera House, March 13, 2006

© 2006 Larry Rivera

The Queen's Birthday holiday is a moveable feast in Australia and New Zealand.

It celebrates the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II who is not only Queen of the United Kingdom but also Queen of Australia and New Zealand, where the Queen's Birthday is a public holiday celebrated on a Monday but on different dates.

Having the Queen's Birthday on a Monday results in a three-day holiday weekend.

In New Zealand, the Queen's Birthday holiday occurs on the first Monday in June.

In Australia, except in the state of Western Australia, it is celebrated on the second Monday of June. The holiday also marks the start of the Australian ski season.

In Western Australia, the Queen's Birthday holiday is celebrated in late September or early October.

In 2011, the Queen's Birthday holiday was moved from Monday, October 3, to Friday, October 28, to coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which took place in Perth during the week of October 23 to 30.

Constitutional monarchy

In point of fact, the Queen's birthday is in neither June nor October but in April.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of the House of Windsor was born on April 21, 1926.

In 1952, on the death of her father, King George VI, Elizabeth succeeded to the throne and was to be known thereafter as Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II continues to reign as Queen of Australia after a referendum in 1999 resulted in the retention of Australia's constitutional monarchy.

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