Queen turns 95 on first birthday without Prince Philip – and why she has two

Queen Elizabeth II turns 95 today (April 21), just days after she buried her husband, Prince Philip, at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

Her Majesty is the longest-reigning monarch in British history and despite her age, she plans to enjoy many more years on the throne.

Every year, the Queen has the opportunity to celebrate her birthday twice, one on her actual birth date and a second on another date.

The tradition for the British monarch to have two birthdays began back in 1748 by George II, who was born in November, a month he felt was too cold to host a parade.

Instead, he decided festivities would carry on into the spring with a military parade known as Trooping the Colour.

The celebration is usually held on a Saturday in June, often the second weekend, with the Queen's "official" birthday being June 13 this year.

Her Majesty last celebrated with a parade in 2019 as she was forced to cancel celebrations in line with UK Government advice amid the pandemic.

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Normally, members of the British public gather with Union Jacks and fill the Mall outside Buckingham Palace before a big parade begins.

The parade starts at the Buckingham Palace before moving along the Mall to Horse Guards Parade at Whitehall, near to Downing Street, and then back again.

It's then traditional for the royal family to travel down the Mall as part of the ceremony before gathering on the Palace's balcony to wave and watch the RAF perform.

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She did get to celebrate her birthday however, on her actual birth date, April 21 1926.

The Queen likely spent the day privately with Windsor Castle staff and her consort for over 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Usually, there is a a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21-gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London on the day but they have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Her Majesty is also practicing a mourning period of eight-days for Prince Philip, which ends on Thursday April 22, the day after her birthday.

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