Fun Fact: The Queen Actually Celebrates Two Birthdays

Sarah Kester
Queen Elizabeth II tours Queen Mother Square
Getty | Samir Hussein

By now, we already know that Queen Elizabeth II is special.

She receives special treatment in every avenue of her life, whether that's millions of people dying to meet her, staff preparing a proper bath for her every morning, or her own squad of ladies-in-waiting.

As if that wasn't enough, we recently learned that she celebrates her birthday twice each year.

Today, April 21, 2022, marks the Queen's 96th birthday!

Queen Elizabeth II
Getty | Chris Jackson

As past birthdays have shown, the Queen will take time away from the public eye and spend some quiet time with her family instead. This year, she will be at her Norfolk estate in Sandringham.

The estate has a special place in her heart.

 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh re-visit Broadlands
Getty | Tim Graham

It was beloved by her late father King George VI and husband Prince Philip.

A royal source told the Mirror that "the Queen decided very recently that on her birthday she wanted to be as close as possible to her late husband and in an environment that was very close to both of their hearts."

While she won't physically be seen on her birthday, NBC royal commentator Daisy McAndrew told 'Today' that we'll see a photograph of her.

Queen Elizabeth with binoculars

"This time last year, at her 95th birthday, she was still in mourning for her husband, Prince Philip, so she wasn’t seen, but they did put a photo out," she said.

"So I expect that’s what we’ll get again this year."

That's exactly what happened, as the royal family's Twitter page recently shared a photo of her Highness with her horses.

For the second year in a row, the Queen will also miss out on another special part of her birthday.

That is receiving flowers from the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Unsplash | Rikonavt

It's a sweet tradition her late husband has done on her birthday for the past 70 years. The story goes that each morning on her birthday, the Queen would find a flower on her breakfast tray.

She called it “a token her husband never forgets.” As time went on, her late husband made the gesture grander by adding even more flowers.

Thankfully, one birthday treat she won't miss is her cake.

Queen Elizabeth

As a bonafide chocoholic, chocolate cake is certainly in order. "We know that, traditionally, she’s been made, by the royal cooks and chefs, a royal chocolate cake," McAndrew said.

This could chocolate perfection pie, her favorite dessert.

Chocolate cake
Unsplash | Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian

It's made with cinnamon, meringue, and chocolate cream. If she were to go crazy and have a burger, it would be a venison burger without the bun. It's a special treat that she would eat with a fork and knife.

Finally, her birthday celebration will be marked by a practice that's been missed out on for the past two years due to the pandemic.

Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she arrives before the Opening of the Flanders' Fields Memorial Garden
Getty | WPA Pool

This is a 41-gun salute that will be held in Hyde Park. You can watch a clip of the action here.

If anything about her birthday doesn't go right, the Queen has the chance to do it all over again!

Queen Elizabeth II tours Queen Mother Square
Getty | Samir Hussein

That's because she has two birthdays each year! This is a longstanding tradition that affects a King or Queen who has a birthday during a time of bad weather.

"It’s a tradition that monarchs have had an official birthday..."

Unsplash | Morgan Lane

"Just in case their real birthday falls perhaps in November, as Prince Charles’ does," McAndrew said.

"Because it was always considered that you couldn’t do a lot of processional celebrations if the weather was bad."

So since the Queen's birthday falls on April 21, she will have her second birthday during the second week of June.

Queen Elizabeth waving

This far bigger party will be marked by big events, such as the annual Trooping the Colour parade, also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade. 

So... can we nab an invite?!