When’s the King’s Birthday Public Holiday, and Why Does It Fall on Different Days in Australia?

When’s the King’s Birthday Public Holiday, and Why Does It Fall on Different Days in Australia?

If you’re itching for another long weekend, you may be asking yourself, “When is the King’s Birthday public holiday set to land this year?” It is, after all, the next major public holiday for most of Australia. We’ve been covering the lead-up to the King’s Birthday public holiday with updates on weather forecasts and insights on trading hours for your biggest retailers (and Macca’s, too), but today, we’re simply looking at when the holiday is and why it falls on this date.

When is the King’s Birthday public holiday?

when is the king's birthday long weekend qld wa
Image Credit: Photo by Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/iStock

Interestingly, although the King’s Birthday celebration is officially set for the second Saturday in June (June 8 in 2024), the public holiday does not fall on the same date across all of Australia.

In most states and territories, the public holiday is set for the Monday following the King’s Birthday celebration. This year, that’s Monday, June 10, 2024.

However, Queensland and Western Australia hold their King’s Birthday public holidays at different times in the year.

King’s Birthday public holiday in Queensland

In Queensland, the King’s Birthday public holiday is held much later in the year, in October. For 2024, the long weekend will be observed on Monday, October 7. This date has been changed a couple of times with changes in government, but was most recently placed in October in 2016 to spread public holidays out throughout the year.

King’s Birthday public holiday in Western Australia

Similar to Queensland, Western Australia celebrates the public holiday later in the year. The long weekend will be held on Monday, September 23, 2024. This is likely due to the fact that Western Australia Day falls on the first Monday in June in WA.

Why is his birthday celebrated in June?

We wrote a little while back about the fact that the then-Queen’s birthday was, in fact, celebrated on two different days every year. Once on her actual birthday and another time on a pre-determined ‘public’ birthday date. Now that Charles has ascended the throne, the situation is the same for him.

The public birthday celebration for the British sovereign falls on the second Saturday in June, simply because the weather is better at that time of the year in the UK. This is largely due to the fact that there will be a royal parade to celebrate the event.

The tradition of choosing a public birthday date in the British summer dates back to the likes of King Edward VII, and it will continue with King Charles now.

King Charles III’s actual birthday is on November 14, so literally none of Australia’s public holidays fall in the correct month for him, funnily enough.

That was the case for Queen Elizabeth, too – her birthday was on April 21.

How is the King’s Birthday celebrated?

In the UK, the sovereign’s birthday is marked with the Trooping of the Colour, as has been a tradition for over 260 years.

The parade features thousands of soldiers alongside hundreds of horses and musicians and travels from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade in Whitehall.

Per the Royal Family website, the parade features members of the Royal Family travelling on horseback and in carriages.

The King will be greeted by a Royal Salute and, among other formalities, he will eventually be joined by members of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, where they’ll watch a fly-past by the Royal Air Force. This is a pretty well-known scene; you may be familiar with it.

You can see an example of what the event looks like below:

The King’s Birthday parade, or Trooping of the Colour, is usually broadcast live by the BBC.

Lead Image Credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/iStock

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