The celebration of the monarch's birthday goes way back to 1748, and we don't celebrate on the monarch's actual birthday. Queen Elizabeth II was actually born on April 22nd, and her consort (husband) the sometime crabby Duke of Edinburgh, celebrated his 90th birthday a few days ago - he was born on June 10th 1921 - the son of Greek monarchs.
Queen Liz as she may (unofficially) be called was born in 1926, so she has another 5 years to go for her 90th!
We celebrate her birthday around the second Monday of June and it is a public holiday - Queen's Birthday Weekend - a loooong weekend.
The main official recognition of this event are the Queen's Birthday Honours - where people are honoured in some way. The media gets to put up a list of the many who have won and feature key ones.
As for the people? It is a good day to get together with the family. A BBQ perhaps, or a picnic (weather permitting). Our family are meeting and having lunch together.
I have also taken the time to reflect on my life 12 months ago. I was still in Shaoxing China, preparing to finalise exams, and student reports, as I left China on June 30th, 2010. It seems a long time ago
I was reminded of this a couple of days ago as I chatted with the owner of the house where I am 'house sitting' - she is finalising exams, student reports ready to leave.
I am still in touch with students - some from way back in 2008.
I'd love to go back - just need the $$$'s for a visit next time.