11 June 2006

The Queen's Birthday

Monday is The Queen's Birthday. You say, "Oh, Queen Elizabeth was born on June 12?"
Wrong. This is a national holiday in Australia and most of the other Commonwealth countries. However, Queen Elizabeth was not born on June 12. The date is variable to create a long weekend. So you say, "Fine, everybody likes a three day weekend. But Lizzy was at least born in early June, right?"
Wrong. She was born on April 21, 1926. "That's odd. But all the Commonwealths honor her birthday on the same day, right?"
Wrong. Monday won't be celebrated as The Queen's Birthday in all participating countries. It won't even be celebrated then in all of Australia--Western Australia celebrates it in September or October, depending on the mood. In most of Australia, it is on the second Monday of June. In most other countries it is some time from April to June. "So why the June date?"
Wrong. (I know, not a "right/wrong" question, but we've got a pattern here. Ask a better question.) It goes back to King George III, who was born on June 4, 1738. New Zealand has done the best job regarding accuracy with their "first Monday in June" date. Your next question: "I bet you will really get into the spirit of the holiday and honor King George/Queen Elizabeth."
Wrong. I got no problem with Lizzy, but this is the same King George who had a beef with American independence. Remember "taxation without representation"? That's him. Unless I am mistaken, he is also responsible for Transportation--the sentence handed down to English criminals shipping them off to Australia. So I protest. That doesn't mean I'm going to work, though--this is my only chance to watch the NBA Finals live (Go the Mavs!). Besides, what did you do for President's Day this year? "Good point. So when Lizzy shuffles off her mortal coil and the reign of Charles begins, we'll celebrate The King's Birthday, right?"
Of course.

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