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There's always plenty to do and see in London throughout the year, but the capital is also home to some great annual celebrations that never fail to draw crowds. As well as all the best tourist hotspots, this summer, you can also make the most of royal events, with the Queen's official birthday falling on June 10th.

While last year saw huge celebrations across the country in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday, things are going to be a bit quieter this year, with most of the events taking place in London. With traditional displays planned for the month, the city is definitely the place to be to make the most of the occasion.

There's plenty to do in London around the event, including a chance to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace, making it a great time to visit the capital.


WhY does the Queen have two birthdays?

Although the Queen actually turned 91 in April, this month is her second birthday of the year, which is a tradition started in 1748 by George II. The official royal birthday was started in order to allow celebrations to take place when there is usually better weather - George II's birthday was in November - meaning you get a chance to join the fun if you missed out in April.

Initially, the Queen's official birthday took place on a Thursday, but it was switched to a Saturday in order to allow more people to take part in the celebrations. This means that June is the ideal month for enjoying a weekend in London and being a part of the historic occasion.


Trooping the Colour

The tradition of Trooping the Colour on the ruling monarch's birthday also dates back to George II. While it used to be a way of ensuring soldiers were able to recognise their own regiment in battle, it is now an amazing spectacle that takes place at Buckingham Palace and attracts thousands of people to London every year.

More than 1,400 officers and men, 400 musicians and 200 hundred horses will take part in the display, which will include around 113 words of command. It will follow the route from the palace along The Mall to House Guards Parade before coming back again.

As well as getting a chance to marvel at the control of those involved in the parade, you'll be able to spot the Queen as the Household Cavalry march past her. She'll then join the rest of the Royal Family on the palace balcony.

This year, Trooping the Colour takes place on Saturday, June 17th.



The Queen's gifts

A special exhibition held during the annual summer opening of the state rooms at Buckingham Palace will give you a chance to see some of the more interesting gifts that the Queen has received throughout her life.

Made up of items from over 100 countries and given during over 250 overseas visits, the exhibition will feature a range of unusual gifts, including a Buckingham Palace tube sign and a beaded thrown. Many of the items included have been handcrafted and give great insight into a range of cultures.

As official gifts can't be sold and become part of the Royal Collection, there will be plenty to see, while a visit to the staterooms during their summer opening is always an interesting option.

You can see the exhibition between July 22nd and October 1st, although it is sure to be popular so purchasing advance tickets is a good idea.


Afternoon tea

If you'd like to raise a glass in honour of the queen on her official birthday, why not enjoy afternoon tea in our Park Terrace Restaurant? You can enjoy stunning views of Kensington Gardens while dining on a range of sandwiches, cakes and pastries.

For an extra special afternoon, upgrade to our Royal Tea, which includes a glass of champagne and strawberries, offering the perfect way to celebrate Her Majesty's birthday. Once you've finished your tea, you could even head out to explore the beautiful Kensington Palace and Gardens, which are located just outside the hotel.


Image credit: Kylieellway via iStock

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