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Why Is Prince Charles Celebrating His Birthday 6 Months Early?

People logo People 5/22/2018 Stephanie Petit
a group of people standing next to a person in a suit and tie © Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delayed their honeymoon festivities for a great reason: to make their first appearance as a married couple to celebrate Prince Charles‘ 70th birthday with a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

There’s just one thing that is puzzling royals fans: Charles’ birthday is actually on November 14.

But because this is a milestone birthday for the royal family’s next in line to the throne, there are a series of celebrations in his honor throughout the year.

Tuesday’s guest list includes 6,000 representatives from charities Prince Charles is involved in as well as patronages and military affiliations. Members of the emergency services who were on the scene at the Manchester Arena bombing terror attack, which killed 22 people and injured a further 59, will also be in attendance, as the event falls on the first anniversary of the tragedy.

a man standing in front of a group of people posing for the camera: Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Meghan Markle © Provided by TIME Inc. Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Meghan Markle

Queen Elizabeth is also known for celebrating her birthday more than once a year: the monarch has both a public and an official birthday. While the Queen typically celebrates her birthday, which falls on April 21, privately with members of the royal family, it’s also customary to celebrate a sovereign’s birthday publicly on a day during the summer, when the weather is nicer (yes, really).

Elizabeth II wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: Queen Elizabeth © Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty Images Queen Elizabeth

The tradition is believed to have started during the reign of King George II in 1748. George II was born in October, but the annual Trooping of the Colour became a celebration of the king – as well as the armed forces.

Since then, the reigning monarch’s official summer birthday has always been marked by the annual ceremony, which is typically held on the second Saturday in June.

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