Prince William just celebrated his 38th birthday. Many fans have been wondering if when Prince William becomes King will he continue the tradition of celebrating two birthdays each year?
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, eldest child of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, second in line to the British throne, just turned 38, on June 21st.
Prince William has grown up to be one of the most important and well-known and loved royals at the moment, from everything that happened to him while he was still a child, to meeting the love of his life at university, he then finally became a family man and adapted to his role as a royal perfectly. He and his wife Kate Middleton are proud parents to three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, undoubtedly his biggest accomplishment.
However, fans of the royal family are wondering whether Prince William will be getting two birthdays once he becomes King?
The royal tradition dictates that British monarchs do not publicly celebrate their birthdays on the actual day they were born. Instead, they have a celebration involving horse guards parades and RAF displays each year in the summer months to publicly celebrate their birthday.
This ‘double-birthday’ tradition is more than 250 years old, having been started by King George II in 1748. And the reason is quite…silly to say the least.
King George II was born in November, not the warmest of months, and was upset he was not on a warmer date to be able to have outdoor celebrations. So he did the next logical thing, deciding to publicly mark his birthday in the summer.
And since that, every British monarch has continued with the tradition of celebrating their birthdays in an official capacity with the Trooping the Colour ceremony.
So what about the Kings and Queens that already have a summer birthday?
Prince William already has his birthday set in a summer month, so what now? Is there any special protocol?
The initial reason King George II had for celebrating his birthday twice a year was understandable, but Prince William need not worry as he is much more likely to experience warmth and sunshine on his birthday.
His grandmother, and current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has her birthday on April 21, which means there is a high chance that she could face spring showers on her big day.
His father, Prince Charles was born on November 14, 1948, which means he was also born in the colder months.
So the main reason for having two separate birthdays so that it can be in the summer months doesn’t have to apply for him. So will the Duke of Cambridge only have one birthday?
If we take a look at history, we can see what other monarchs with summer birthdays did.
Queen Victoria was born on May 24, 1819.
During her reign, she regularly celebrated Trooping the Colour on her actual birthday of May 24, such as on a Friday in 1895 and on a Monday in 1897.
King George V who ruled from May 1910 to January 1936 was also a summer born King, born on June 3, 1865.
During his reign, he celebrated Trooping the Colour on his actual birthday eight times in 1919, 1922, 1924, 1925, 1928, 1930, 1933 and 1935.
During this time, King George V held the Trooping the Colour parade on various days of the week.
But, since 1959, Trooping the Colour has been always held on a Saturday, presumably to enable the country as a whole to take part.
It is very likely that Prince Charles and Prince William will continue with this tradition and keep celebrating Trooping the Colour on a Saturday in June.
That for William means that, as his birthday will fall on a Saturday every five, six or eleven years, depending on when he finally becomes king.
So that means when the two dates coincide, he will have the opportunity to celebrate both his official and actual birthday on the same day.