Queen’s Birthday

Today is the Queens’ Birthday public holiday in New Zealand. We have this holiday on the first Monday in June. Other Commonwealth countries have it on different dates – in Australia they have it on the second Monday in June, in Canada on the last Monday before 25 May.

In the United Kingdom:

The monarch’s birthday has been celebrated in the United Kingdom since 1748, during the reign of King George II.

King George II was born on 30 October 1683, under the Old Style Julian Calendar, in Hanover (he is the last UK king born outside the country).  His birthday changed to 9 November when Hanover switched to the new Style Julian Calendar.  He become  King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727.

Great Britain switched to the new calendar on 3/14 September 1752. King George II died in 1760. So the King’s birthday must have kept changing.

The Queen’s Official Birthday was originally celebrated on the second Thursday of June, the same day that her father, King George VI, celebrated his Official Birthday during his reign. However, this was changed in 1959, seven years after she became Queen, and her Official Birthday has since then been celebrated on the second Saturday of June. Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 to 1910 and whose birthday was on 9 November, after 1908 moved the ceremony to summer in the hope of good weather.

I guess kings and queens can celebrate their birthdays whenever they like.

This means there will be Queen’s Birthday honours announced today.

Yvette Williams won an Empire Games gold medal in the long jump in Auckland in 1950, and also won a silver in the Javelin. She was the first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic long jump gold medal, in Helsinki in 1952. She also broke the Commonwealth record. In 1954 she broke the world record with  jump of 6.28 metres. Later that year in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver she won gold medals in the long jump, discus and shot put, all Empire Games records.

She married and became Yvette Corlett late in 1954. She officially became a Dame on 12 April this year, a day before she died.  It’s hard to fathom why the award was left until this year. She must be one of the shortest living dames.

I’m not a big fan of gongs, but she must be one of the more deserving.

ODT: Pride and regret as athlete honoured

She was going to be made a dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Her Majesty’s approval of the award took effect on April 12, a day before the outstanding athlete died, aged 89.

Dame Yvette served as patron of the Counties Manukau Regional Sports Trust for 17 years until 2009, as patron of Athletics New Zealand from 2003 to 2006 and on the board of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame from 1990 to 1995. She would also volunteer her time coaching at the Panmure Young Citizens Centre.

Dame Yvette was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1953 for services to women’s athletics, and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to athletics in the 2011 New Year Honours.

The honours were announced this morning and among the knights is playwright Roger Hall, who lived in Dunedin for 16 years during his writing.

Also being made a dame is Fran Walsh, of Wellington. She has won Baftas and Oscars for her music, film producing and scriptwriting. She is the partner of Sir Peter Jackson.

Other well-known New Zealanders receiving honours include racing driver Scott Dixon, actor Robyn Malcolm, comedian and campaigner Mike King, netball figure Yvonne Willering and cricket commentator Bryan Waddle.

All the  Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019



When we

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  1. Reply
    • Duker

       /  3rd June 2019

      I thought the gold medal was the honour and some further service to the country was required for a gong. This may have been the case here and I see why its seen as deserving

      But its interesting to see when a government changes and those ‘who have long missed out’ emerge.
      Happily the major gongs for turning up seem to have gone, so goodbye to Judges, generals mayors and public servants.
      Its time also the New years were dropped and only the Queens birthday being the date they are announced.

  2. Blazer

     /  3rd June 2019

    Sir Graeme Lowe….Sir Isaac Newton,Sir William English,Sir Ernest Rutherford,…….what a….club!

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  3rd June 2019

      You must be glad that you won’t be joining them.

      Isaac Newton was born with a title as far as I know..


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