It’s a celebration fit for a monarch.
The Cayman Islands will mark the official 91st birthday of Queen Elizabeth II with a parade and ceremony Saturday morning.
The ceremony, to be held inside the Elmslie Memorial United Church on Harbour Drive, George Town, begins at 9 a.m. The ceremony will be followed by a garden party from 10-11:30 a.m. on the front lawn of Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s residence, Government House, on West Bay Road.
The ceremony was originally scheduled to be held outdoors, in front of the Legislative Assembly building, but the venue was changed due to concerns over pending inclement weather.
Guests are requested to wear semiformal day attire and to be seated at the ceremony by 8:30 a.m.
While Saturday is the queen’s official birthday, Monday is an official public holiday in Cayman.
Governor Kilpatrick and Deputy Governor Franz Manderson will be at the ceremony, in addition to Premier Alden McLaughlin and other senior government officials.
Two Cayman residents, Charles Watler and Phillip Rankin, will be recognized at the ceremony. Mr. Watler will be recognized as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his work with the Immigration Board, and Mr. Rankin, a former chairman of the board of Cayman Airways, will receive the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honor.
Queen’s birthday around the world
Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926, but the U.K. celebrates her birthday in June as part of a tradition that has existed for more than a century. The virtual home of the Royal Family, www.royal.uk, explains that the sovereign’s official birthday has long been celebrated in June due to the weather being more appropriate for the famous Trooping the Colour parade.
Edward VII, born on Nov. 9, 1841, preferred to mark his birthday in May or June rather than during the winter. He became king in 1902.
The Queen’s official birthday is marked on different days throughout the world. Canada celebrates the monarch’s birthday on Victoria Day, the last Monday before May 25. New Zealand celebrates it on the first Monday in June, and Australia celebrates it on the second Monday in June (except for the provinces of Western Australia and Queensland, which celebrate in late September and early October, respectively.)
The Queen’s birthday page on www.royal.uk states that the official birthday in the U.K. is usually on the second Saturday in June, but a representative for the Ministry of Defense said that is not always the case.
“It’s in the schedule years in advance,” he said by telephone. “I don’t think it’s set in stone that it’s always the third Saturday in June, but there’s nothing peculiar about it.”
Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family will observe the Trooping the Colour in London on Saturday and then will mark the occasion with a public appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth has attended the parade every year of her reign except 1955, when it was canceled due to a rail strike.
Road closures in Cayman
To accommodate the events, some roads in George Town will be closed from 6 p.m. Friday until 11 a.m. Saturday: the junction of North Church Street and Fort Street, the junction of Albert Panton Street and Fort Street and the junction of Edward Street and Fort Street.
Note: This story has been updated to reflect a change of venue from the Legislative Assembly front steps to Elmslie Memorial Church.