Tomorrow, 13th June 2011 is the public holiday for all parts of Australia except for West Australia. West Australia celebrates Queen’s birthday on last Monday of September or first Monday of October. In all other parts of Australia, we celebrate Queen’s birthday on second Monday of June. As it always falls on Monday, that means ‘Long Weekend’.

Many of you who are new to Australia or new to commonwealth countries may wonder, why do members of Commonwealth nations celebrate Queen’s birthday at different date. The actual birth date of your Queen, Queen Elizabeth II is 21 April 1926. The different birth date is a result of political expediency and historical tradition.

Monarch’s birthday was first celebrated in Australia in 1788. Public holiday was declared by Governor Arthur Phillip to mark King George III birthday. Originally, the birthday was celebrated on the actual anniversary of the birth date of the Monarchs. However, since the death of King George V, the date remained closed to his birth date, 3 June.

 

The second Monday of June is the day the Queen’s release her honours list. The honour lists recognises people who had contributed significantly to the country and/or commonwealth by bestowing them various honours and titles. Thus, this is the day which all Australians celebrates Queen’s birthday except in WA.

So if you do not reside in WA, make sure you enjoy the public holiday tomorrow. For Melbournians, make sure you ‘double’ enjoy your public holiday tomorrow, as our next public holiday won’t be due until November, Melbourne Cup day which falls on first Tuesday of November. How I wish it fell on Monday too.

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