8    Jun 20091 comment

The Queen’s birthday… or not?

Queen Elizabeth II when she was crownedThe Queen of England, Elizabeth II was born on born 21 April 1926, hence she celebrated her birthday on that day. Interestingly however, Australia and New Zealand celebrate her birthday on a completely different day, towards the beginning of June. This year, they are celebrating it today: on Monday, the 8th of June. As it is often a long weekend, it is an occasion that many Australians take to go see their family or to visit a sports match.

The Monarch's Birthday was first celebrated in Australia in 1788. In that year, King George III was the Monarch of the Commonwealth, which included Australia and New Zealand, and the first governor of New South Wales Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark his birthday. Originally, the Monarch's birthday was celebrated 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 date remained close to his birthday, which was June 3.

In fact we of MyHeritage have started an overview of the British Royal Family, including King Geoarg V, who's father was the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and going back to Queen Victoria, who was a niece of King George III's children, none if which lived to take over from him. She was the last monarch of the House of Hanover and the only legitimate child of the Duke of Kent.

British Royal Family Tree HeritageAs a great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Elizabeth II is related to the heads of most European royal houses. Through her great-grandmother Queen Alexandra, she descends from the Danish royal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Other members of the House of Glücksburg include her late husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as well as Margrethe II of Denmark, Harald V of Norway, Queen Sofia of Spain and former King Constantine II of Greece. One of her many cousins is King Juan Carlos I of Spain, also a great-great-grandson of Victoria. Elizabeth is likewise a descendant of the Prince of Orange (1687 – 1711), who has been called the most recent common ancestor to all reigning European royal houses.

More obscurely, Elizabeth's royal family has been associated with many known people. Many US presidents, such as John Kerry, and even Barack Obama, can lay claim to royal ancestry through Edward I, who was born in 1239 in Westminster. Similarly writer Orson Welles, through Henry IV, actor Hugh Grant and director Guy Ritchie, through Henry VII, Charles Darwin and Jane Austen through Edward III can be traced to the British royal family.

If you'd like to find out more about your ancestry, keep building your tree and be sure to check your SmartMatches, who knows you may be related to Barack Obama, or the Royal Family yourself.

Search for your ancestors:

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  1. I'm American....I'm so enchanted with the Royal Family....I wish I was a decendent of anything English. My father's mother was Mary Rittenhouse and his father was Claude Osborn.

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