Tag Archives: Royal Standard

Did You Know The Queen Has 2 Birthdays?

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It’s true. Her Majesty has two birthdays every year and why not? Queen Elizabeth II is the Sovereign of the United Kingdom and The British Commonwealth. She has served as Queen through WWII, birthed four children, celebrated a Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilee and is now the longest reigning British monarch. This is a definite cause for celebration. These accomplishments of such a notable individual beg the question: is two birthdays enough to celebrate such a remarkable monarch?

A Bit About The Queen

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Mountbatten-Windsor was born April 21, 1926. She is the daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Her only sibling is Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden. She was married at age 21 in 1947 to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and gave birth the following year to Charles, Princes of Wales. She also a mother to Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Her Majesty has eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Queen Elizabeth II is also the longest reigning queen regnant (reigns in her own right) in the world. Her Majesty will be celebrating her 90th birthday this year.

Thoughts on Birthdays

Personally, I would love more than one birthday. I believe in celebrating life and our birthday is the one day that we can truly claim for ourselves. People often dislike celebrating their birthday because of the reminder they are getting older. It certainly beats the alternative.

Maybe you’re one of those that hate the attention that goes with a birthday party. Since her ascension to the throne, The Queen has had a public birthday celebration where the entire country is invited. There is a telly broadcast of the event, too. Talk about being under the spotlight.

Celebrating Her Majesty’s Birthday

The Queen’s private birthday celebration is marked by 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. The festivities begin noontime on April 21 while Her Majesty celebrates privately.

In 2006, Her Majesty celebrated her 80th Birthday greeting well-wishers in the streets outside Windsor Castle. This year, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will do another walkabout Windsor on her birthday. At the foot of Castle Hill, Her Majesty will unveil a plaque marking The Queen’s Walkway. It is a 6.3 km (3.9 mi) self-guided trail which connects 63 points of interest in the town of Windsor. In the evening of April 21, The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall will light a beacon and observe two additional beacons lit along The Long Walk and at Copper Horse. On Her Majesty’s birthday, The Queen’s Walkway commemorates the longest reigning British monarch, Elizabeth II.

On her public birthday, in June, The Queen and the Royal Family will once again enjoy the renowned Trouping the Colour parade. Many thousands line the streets to watch Her Majesty’s birthday celebration.

Trooping the Colour

Also known as “The Queen’s Birthday Parade” Trooping the Colour has also marked the official birthday of the British sovereign since 1748. This auspicious parade was moved to its June date by Edward VII due to the more pleasant summer weather.

Performed by fully trained and operational troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry), these regiments pay tribute to Her Majesty with grand pageantry.

The parade begins at Buckingham Palace where the Royal Standard is flown atop the palace. The Queen, in the royal procession, is led down The Mall by an escort of the Household Cavalry (troops on horseback) to the Horse Guards Parade of St. James’ Park in Whitehall, London. There, Her Majesty is greeted by a royal salute after which she inspects the troops. This inspection is followed by the “musical troop” performed by various regimental bands. The escorted Regimental Colour carries down the ranks, followed by a march past of the Foot Guards, Household Cavalry, and a rank past by The King’s Troop and Royal Horse Artillery. The Queen takes a carriage ride back to Buckingham Palace for a Royal Air Force flypast from the palace balcony.

Do You Enjoy The Queen’s Birthday?

Have you been to The Queen’s public birthday celebration? What did you think of the parade and Trooping the Colour? Wouldn’t you love to be a guest of Her Majesty’s private family celebration? What a unique and amazing experience that would be, right? Below is the footage from 2015 Trooping the Colour parade. Check out the video and post your comments.


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Flags of the United Kingdom

From last week’s blog post, you saw how the United Kingdom represents several nations and each has a national flag for their respective countries.

Flag of England

England-Flag

The “red cross” as an emblem of England can be traced back to the Middle Ages. It is widely believed Richard I, the Lionheart, adopted both this flag and patron saint (St. George) of Genoa, Italy at some point during his crusade. This emblem, the red cross of St. George, was worn by English soldiers from the early years of the reign of Edward I (1270s). The flag of St. George remained the ensign of England for other purposes until the Acts of Union 1707 (Union with Scotland).

Current Use

Churches belonging to the Church of England may fly the St. George’s Cross but only with the arms of the diocese in the left-hand upper corner of the flag. The flag of St. George is also the rank flag of an Admiral in the Royal Navy, and civilian craft are forbidden to fly it. Though the flag has no official status within the UK, it has been used ever increasingly, particularly at national sporting events, since the 1990s.

Flag of Wales

Welsh-Flag

This flag incorporates the Red Dragon of Cadwaladr, King of Gwynedd, along with the Tudor colors of green and white to represent the Welsh dynasty of 1485. During the reign of Henry VIII, the Laws in Wales Acts was passed in 1536 and 1543 which then created a single state and legal jurisdiction, effectively annexing Wales to England. Due to this official acquisition by England, Wales is not represented on the Union Flag, other than the cross of St. George (patron saint of England). It was officially recognized as the Welsh national flag, after successful lobbying of Gorsedd of Bards and others, by Queen Elizabeth II in 1959.

Current Use

Today the flag can be seen flying from the Senedd in Cardiff, and from the Wales Office in Whitehall, London each day.

Flag of Scotland

Scottish-Flag

The Saltire or the Saint Andrew’s Cross represents the cross of the patron saint of Scotland on a blue field. According to legend, Saint Andrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross at Patras (Patrae) in Greece. It first appears in the Kingdom of Scotland in 1180 during the reign of William I. It was again depicted on seals used during the late 13th century, including on one used by the Guardians of Scotland, dated 1286. In June 1285, the Parliament of Scotland decreed that Scottish soldiers serving in France would wear a white Saint Andrew’s Cross, both in front and behind, for identification.

After the proclamation by King James, made on April 12, 1606, the Saltire became one of the key components in the creation of the Union Flag.

Current Use

The Saltire is the official flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both their loyalty and Scottish nationality.

Flag of Northern Ireland

Over the centuries, there have been several flags representative of Northern Ireland, mainly in an unofficial capacity. The most common are Ulster Banner and the Saint Patrick’s Saltire.

Unofficial

Ulster-Banner

  • Ulster Banner – The Ulster Banner was the official flag used to represent the Government of Northern Ireland from 1953 to 1973. When the Parliament of Northern Ireland was dissolved by the British government under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, the flag ceased to have official standing. However, several sports and media organizations use the flag to represent teams and athletes from Northern Ireland for various sporting events.

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  • Saint Patrick Saltire – Also known as the Cross of Saint Patrick, after the patron saint of Ireland. The association with Saint Patrick dates from the 1780s, when the Order of Saint Patrick, a British chivalric order, was established in 1783 by George III. Still used by some Unionists, the Church of Ireland, some family clans, and various Irish organizations in which these symbols are incorporated. One such assimilation is in the badge of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, most Irish nationalists reject its use to represent Ireland as a “British invention”.

Official

Union Flag – Though these other flags are used in unofficial capacities, the Union Flag is the only true flag of Northern Ireland.

Union Flag

Union-Jack

Since 1801, via the Acts of Union 1800, the Union Flag is the national flag of the United Kingdom which officially represents England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The flag also has an official or semi-official status in some other Commonwealth realms. It is, by law, an official flag in Canada and known there as the Royal Union Flag. Additionally, it is used as an official flag in some smaller British overseas territories. The Union Flag also appears in the canton (upper left-hand quarter) of the flags of several nations and territories that are former British possessions or colonies.

Other Flags

Royal Standard

Royal-Standard-Flag-UK

The first and fourth quadrants represent the ancient Kingdom of England with three gold lions on a red field. The second quadrant represents the ancient Kingdom of Scotland and contains a red lion rampant on a gold field, and the third quadrant represents the ancient Kingdom of Ireland which contains a version of the gold harp from the coat of arms of Ireland on a blue field.

Used by Elizabeth II in her capacity as Sovereign of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The flag is flown when the Queen is in residence in one of the royal palaces and on her car during official journeys. It may be flown on any building, official or private, during a visit by the Queen, if the owner or proprietor so requests.

Too Many Flags?

Did you ever find the various flags of the UK confusing? Did you know any of the origins of these the flags? Log in to discuss your thoughts.


 

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