Posted: Friday, May 21, 2021. 1:28 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: This coming Monday is observed as Sovereign’s Day or Commonwealth Day, in honour of the ties Commonwealth realms like Belize share with the United Kingdom.
Many may not know that May 24 is the birthdate of Queen Victoria – the longest-reigning British monarch at 63 years until she was surpassed in 2015 by her great-great-granddaughter, the current Queen, Elizabeth II.
This afternoon at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, it will be the latter that is honoured with an official parade marking her birthday, starting at 4 p.m., weather permitting.
The date of the official celebration varies from country to country but is generally celebrated in late May to mid-June to correspond with fair weather for outdoor ceremonies in the United Kingdom. The Queen’s actual birthday is on April 21 (she is 95 years of age), which she celebrates privately.
This year, celebrations were muted due to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the passing of Her Majesty’s long-time consort, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 99.
On parade will be elements of the Belize Defence Force, Belize Coast Guard, Belize Police Department, and other uniformed organizations including the Belize Red Cross, the Scout Association of Belize and the Belize Girl Guides. Dignitaries officially honouring Her Majesty will include the Acting Governor-General of Belize Stuart Leslie, Prime Minister of Belize John Briceno, Minister of National Defence and Border Security Florencio Marin Jr, Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber and the Chief Justice of Belize Michelle Arana. Other dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps will also be in attendance.
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