Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 91st birthday today, and Buckingham Palace has shared a special photo of her to mark the occasion.
The Royal Family’s official Twitter account shared a black and white photo of the monarch at just one month old, being held by her mother Elizabeth, Duchess of York, at her christening – an impressive 91 years ago.
The account also shared a speech made by the Queen on her 21st birthday, in 1947, in which she says: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
The Queen celebrates her birthday twice each year – once on the anniversary of the day she was born, April 21, and on an “official” birthday on the second Saturday in June.
It is a tradition that was started by George II in 1748 and is owes its origins to the ageless problem of the British weather.
George was born in November, and felt the weather would be too cold at that time of year for his annual birthday parade.
So instead, he combined his birthday celebration with an annual spring military parade known as Trooping the Colour, in which regiments displayed their flags or “colours” so soldiers would be familiar with them.
It is a tradition that has continued to this day.