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QUEEN’S OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION (article first published : 2008-06-14)

The British Cultural and Heritage Association will celebrate the occasion of the Official Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll with a time-honoured ceremony on June, 21.

Each year the Association marks the occasion with a special lunch as a public means of celebrating our English identity. A three-course buffet lunch will be served followed by complimentary birthday cake sponsored by the ICC and a cash bar will be available. Lunch includes a soup starter; roast leg of lamb or chicken curry for the main course and blueberry cheesecake or fresh fruit salad or ice cream for dessert. Group Captain Alexander Bell of the Royal Air Forces Association 1st Natal Branch will be the guest speaker.

Celebrate and explore British culture and heritage and discover the answer to the question: Why does the Queen have two birthdays? Although the Queen was really born on April 21, there has been a longstanding tradition to commemorate the Sovereign’s birthday on a day during the UK summer. Since 1805, the Trooping of the Colour ceremony has marked the crowned head of the Royal family’s ‘official’ birthday and this is normally held on the second Saturday in June.

The ceremony originated when it was essential for soldiers to recognise the flag or ‘colour’ of their regiment so that they could follow it into battle and each year, one of the five regiments of the foot guards take turns to display their Colour. The Household Cavalry escorts the Queen as she leaves Buckingham Palace and rides down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade and inspects the 500 guardsmen. The Colour is trooped by being carried along the ranks of the guardsmen and the Colour party then leads the guards on a march past the Queen, accompanied by the massed bands of the foot guards. There is no particular annual ceremony held on the Queen’s true birthday although the Union Flag is flown on public buildings and the national anthem is sung.

The celebrations for the Official Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll take place on June 21 at 11h30 for 12h00 in the Royal Natal Yacht Club’s Trafalgar Room. There is limited seating and booking is essential - entrance based on reservations only. Entry fee R110 (R100 BCHA/1820 members). There will be a raffle and lucky draw on the day. Reservations on 031 202 6174 during office hours!




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