Why does Australia celebrate the Queen's Birthday?

It's an age old argument and not one that's really related to coeliac disease, but with the Queen's Birthday upon us for another year, still worthwhile discussing. So why does Australia continue to celebrate the birthday of a woman who lives nearly 17,000 km away? And why do we celebrate Queen's Birthday in June when her real birthday is on 21 April?

Well it all dates back to the pragmatic Edward VII who decided that given the risk of bad UK weather and disruption to his November birthday, he would instead celebrate in June - the British summer. Although subsequent sovereigns had more convenient birthdays, the practice of separating the monarch's real birthday from the official one was reinstated by the current Queen's father, George VI and has continued ever since.

The Queen's Birthday is therefore formally celebrated in the UK on the first or second Saturday in June with the ceremonial parade of the Trooping the Colour. In New Zealand and Australia it is traditionally celebrated on the first Monday in June and serves also as the opening of our snow season. All except Western Australia that is, which generally celebrates in late September as the Queen's Birthday date in June clashes with the State's own foundation day celebrations.

So what does the Queen like to eat on her birthday? Despite her status, the Queen prefers simple food - a raspberry jam sandwich, a slice of chocolate cake, or a scone with jam and cream  are said to be among her favourites. And that makes this recipe for gluten free scones all the more appropriate for you to mark this year's Queen's Birthday!

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