UK High Commission in Kenya celebrates the Queen’s Official Birthday

Nic Hailey at the Queen's Birthday Party in Nairobi
Nic Hailey at the Queen's Birthday Party in Nairobi. Photo: Facebook/UK in Kenya

Last night, the UK High Commission in Nairobi celebrated the Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday in style.

The British themed party, hosted by High Commissioner Nic Hailey, not only honoured the Queen’s official birthday, but also supported the Soma Soma Initiative.

Tweeting from the party, Mr Hailey described the event as a celebration of the diversity and unity of the UK and Kenya.

With Beefeaters guarding the cake and Sauti Sol providing the entertainment, an amazing night was enjoyed by the guests.

It wasn’t just the High Commission celebrating the monarch’s official birthday, with the Kibera Daycare Centre for the Elderly also holding their own party.

Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

Unlike most people, Queen Elizabeth II has two birthdays. Her actual birthday is April 21, but she also has an official birthday in June, usually on the second Saturday which this year it falls on Saturday June 17.

The reason the Queen has two birthdays isn’t just to get double the amount of presents, but is in fact down to the British weather. Since 1748, the monarch’s official birthday has been marked by the parade known as Trooping the Colour, usually held on the king or queen’s actual birthday.

But Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910, was born in November decided to celebrate his birthday officially in May or June because there was less chance of it being cold and drizzly during the outdoor event.

The monarch after Edward VII – George V – helpfully had a birthday in June, but the Queen’s father, George VI, whose birthday was in December, reintroduced the tradition of an official birthday, which Elizabeth II has continued.

In 1959, after several years on the throne, the Queen changed the date to the second Saturday for convenience.