Today is a public holiday here in most of Australia. It’s the Queen’s Birthday!
Ok, it’s not actually the Queen’s birthday. Queen Elizabeth II was born the 21st of April, but in Australia, except for the state of Western Australia, the Queen’s birthday is observed on the second Monday of June. The royal birthday has been celebrated since 1788 when Governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark the birthday of the King of Great Britain. Until 1936 it was held on the actual birthday of the Monarch, but after the death of George V it was decided to keep the date on the second Monday in June.
What do Aussies do on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday? Many people get the day off and take advantage of a three-day weekend to go away. For those of us staying in town, we may visit friends, family, or attend a sporting event. Footy, of course. The Queen’s Birthday Holiday clash is an annual Australian rules football match between Australian Football League (AFL) teams Melbourne Demons and Collingwood Magpies. Theo and I will be watching that on TV before sitting down to a lamb roast with the family. Go Pies!
The Queen’s Birthday honours list is also released today. This is the only civic occasion of note and it honours Australians for their services to the community. More than 700 Australians were recognised today. You can read about that here on ABC.
How are you observing the Queen’s Birthday Holiday?