Tuesday, June 15, 2010

They "Say" It's Her Birthday

Yesterday, June 14th, was a public holiday in Australia--The Queen's Birthday.  It is interesting to note that the holiday was in honour of the British Queen, and it wasn't really her birthday.  However, since Australia is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and the official head of state is the Monarch of Realms we are treated to a Public Holiday in honor of the Queen's Birthday.  
The Monarch's Birthday was first celebrated in Australia in 1788, when Governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark King George III's Birthday. Originally the celebration occurred on the anniversary of the actual date of birth of the King or Queen.  However, after the death of King George V in 1936 the Second Monday in June was designated as the public holiday, no matter the actual birthdate of the reigning monarch.  Of course, there is always an exception to the rule.  Western Australia forgoes the June holiday, since the State has already set aside the previous Monday for Foundation Day.  Rather than celebrate two long weekends in a row, each year the Governor  designates a date to honour the monarchy.    

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