How do royals celebrate their birthdays?

Krista Thurrott

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is turning 37 on Saturday — her first birthday as a bona fide member of the royal family.

If royal birthdays are anything like royal weddings then you know every detail is orchestrated perfectly. While there may not be party hats and tacky decorations, the royals most definitely know how to mark an occasion.

With Meghan Markle’s 37 birthday fast approaching, this is how royals celebrate (Photo via Getty Images)
With Meghan Markle’s 37 birthday fast approaching, this is how royals celebrate (Photo via Getty Images)

The grandest celebration of them all, Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday, is marked every year in April with a small family gathering and various gun salutes: A 41-gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21-gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London. But that’s only one of two birthday parties. When it comes to celebrating, the monarchy doesn’t skimp — and Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her birthday a second time in June with the Trooping the Colour ceremony. A tradition for more than 260 years, this military parade is much more public than the April celebration.

Prince Charles recently celebrated his 70th birthday in May — six months early. Since he’s heir to the throne, the Prince of Wales has a large event to mark the occasion, and because his birthday actually takes place in November, he opted to celebrate early, in better weather. The event, marked with a garden tea party (which Markle and Prince Harry delayed their honeymoon to attend) was attended by 6,000 guests.

An added positive to celebrating your birth as heir to the throne? Special £5 coins with your face on them. At the May celebration, the Queen released a batch of gold coins featuring Prince Charles’sface on one side and Her Royal Highness’s on the other.

For the remaining royals, their celebrations aren’t as much of a spectacle. The youngest princes’ and princesses’ special days are marked by small family gatherings with a birthday theme of their choice. The royal family also typically releases a new photo of the child.

When it comes to the rest of them, they can spend their day as they please — which is usually in the company of close friends and family. Prince William marked his 34th birthday by attending a soccer game in Saint Etienne, France, and Prince Harry had a shooting party at Balmoral Castle to celebrate his 32nd. As for the Duchess of Cambridge, her most recent birthday was spent with close friends and family at Kensington Palace.

According to Markle’s lifestyle blog, The Tig, which was shut down before her engagement announcement — the actress would typically use her special day to urge fans to undergo charitable pursuits, such as adopting rescue dogs. This year will most likely be different.

Tradition shows that royals prefer to celebrate their special day with a low-key affair within the palace walls — and we’re sure with all of the royal appearances lately, this will be welcome news to the Duchess of Sussex.

While it may be Markle’s first birthday as a royal, her celebration most likely won’t be much different than she’s used to. We’re hoping she spends it with close friends, champagne, her husband and an onslaught of royal fans’ well wishes.

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