On this day: the King’s official birthday.

This image is of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, on the King’s official birthday on the 19th of May, 1939.

The British monarch has celebrated an official birthday separate to their real birthday since George II began the tradition in 1748. The purpose of the different date was to ensure celebrations could be held in a warmer month, where there was a better chance of the weather being fine.

RoyalVisitLandsdownePark Arrival of Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, in the State carriage, in front of grandstand at Lansdowne Park, Ottawa, Canada. 19th May 1939.

On this day: a Queen and a future Queen

Queen Elizabeth with Princess Elizabeth on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after George VI_s coronation. 12th May 1937.

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The 12th of May, 1937 marked the coronation of King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth. This photograph was taken on the balcony of Buckingham Palace afterwards.

The new Queen’s daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II, stands with her. She had turned eleven a couple of weeks before the coronation.