Queen’s Birthday

Considering this is Queens Birthday weekend, I thought I would take a look at this political ritual. It is a ritual practiced every year since 1748 and yet means very little to New Zealanders other than the fact that we all get an extra day off work, and the Queens Honour Roll is presented. In New Zealand it is always celebrated in the first weekend of June giving the public the Monday off. In the UK however, it is usually celebrated on the first Saturday of June (despite this not being her real birthday), reasoning said to be that June weather is usually better than the weather when the monarchs birthday really is, which allows for a more public display and performance. In the UK ritual performances such as the Trooping of the Colours Parade attract huge crowds and it is televised around the world. The parade itself is a highly choreographed performance that is performed every year with the public now very aware of what is happening at different times and knows exactly what to expect. The Queen rides past the troops in a horse-drawn carriage to ‘inspect’ her troops which acts a symbol for her appreciation for them while gun salutes are sounded from the Tower of London as the public’s mark of respect for the Queen.

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~ by jackie213 on May 30, 2009.

2 Responses to “Queen’s Birthday”

  1. I suppose that part of the reason Queen’s Birthday weekend is just that – a slightly longer weekend, bringing much joy to the hearts of the nation – is because we don’t really associate ourselves with England or the commonwealth that much anymore. New Zealand percieves itself, from what I have noticed, as an independant and entirely self-governing country, which I suppose in many senses we are. The Queen seems to be a token of our past as a nation, and not a past we consider to be relevant only as a beginnings and not as a present part of our identity.

  2. My calendar informs me also that in WA in aussie celebrates Queens birthday on the same day as us while for the rest of Australia its next monday.

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