Will there be a new holiday as Charles III celebrates first birthday as the monarch?


Aussies holding a hope of getting a new public holiday to celebrate the new monarch are set to be disappointed, with King Charles III celebrating his birthday without much fanfare down under.

The existing Queen’s Birthday public holiday is expected to remain in place, but will be renamed for King Charles III where necessary. In Queensland, ACT and Tasmania, the official name for the holiday is Birthday of the Sovereign.

As per tradition, a British monarch celebrates their birthday twice- on their actual birthday and on their official one.

“Official celebrations to mark the Sovereign’s birthday have often been held on a day other than the actual birthday, particularly when the actual birthday has not been in the summer,” according to Buckingham Palace.

“King Edward VII, for example, was born on 9 November, but his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping of the Colour.

Queen Elizabeth II continued that tradition because her birthday fell outside the summer months, on April 21,” the palace confirmed.

With his birthday in the cold, dark England winter, King Charles III is widely expected to keep to the tradition of celebrating twice.

NSW was quick to confirm the Queen’s Birthday public holiday would be known as King’s Birthday going forward in the state, and that the public holiday would still fall on the second Monday of June.

Employee Relations Minister Damien Tudehope said at the time many NSW residents had only ever known the holiday as Queen’s Birthday.

“Most people have only known this public holiday as the Queen’s Birthday holiday for every year of the late Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign,” he said.

“It is with a touch of sadness that we must move to change the name, but it is an important recognition of the new monarch, King Charles III, that the public holiday will continue and be henceforth named the King’s Birthday public holiday.”

A legislative amendment was required to the state’s Public Holidays Act 2010 so the holiday’s name could be changed.

The amendment has been gazetted and will be effective as of January 13, 2023.

Victoria and Western Australia also previously confirmed the holiday would be known as the King’s Birthday in their respective states.

While Australians won’t be celebrating today, King Charles’ birthday won’t go unmarked abroad.

The festivities will start at 11am (6am. ET) with a special rendition of “Happy Birthday” by the band of the Household Cavalry at Buckingham Palace.

The palace is where Charles was born in 1948, when his grandfather, King George VI, was still on the throne.

That performance will be followed at midday by a 41-gun royal salute from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in nearby Green Park.

The Band of the Scots Guards will then perform another rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

An hour later, the Honourable Artillery Company will fire a 62-gun salute over at the Tower of London.

Gun salutes are customarily given as a sign of respect or welcome, according to the British Army.

A salute with an open hand was used historically to show that no weapon was concealed in the palm, so the firing of cannon as a salute indicates the friendly intent of an empty chamber.

Today, gun salutes are fired in the United Kingdom on significant royal anniversaries.

The number of rounds fired depends on the place and occasion. The basic royal salute is the traditional 21 rounds. In Green Park or Hyde Park, in central London, an extra 20 rounds are added because the salute is taking place in a Royal Park. At the Tower of London, the rounds go up to 62: the basic 21, plus an additional 20 because the site is a Royal Palace and Fortress, and then another 21 to show loyalty from the City of London, which has its own jurisdiction, separate from the rest of London.

King Charles still resides at Clarence House, so we can expect wellwishers to congregate there, hoping for a glimpse of the monarch and maybe even a walkabout to mark his very first birthday as sovereign.

In 2023, the King’s Birthday public holiday will fall on Monday, June 12 in all states except Queensland (Oct 2) and Western Australia (Sep. 25).

Originally published as Will there be a new holiday as Charles III celebrates first birthday as the monarch?