Friday, 1 June 2012

Forget the Queen, I have more birthdays

Apparently this is the Queen's Official Birthday
As I am a mild republican on the quiet (I don't want them all taken out and shot, but I am very doubtful of the benefits of paying for a royal family, even more doubtful about the benefits of having Prince Charles become king, and feel it's time we liquidated most of the royal estates) I won't be celebrating the Queen's diamond jubilee over the next few days. I will just enjoy muttering 'Bah humbug,' and taking potshots at bunting. But I thought I would put up a post that mentioned herself.

One of the oddities about the Queen is that she has two birthdays. This isn't due to some biological peculiarity from inbreeding, but for some reason she has a separate 'official birthday'. (Don't ask.) Funnily, in this age of e-presence I suspect more and more of us will be like the Queen in this respect.

This occurred to me when that excellent living typo Peet Morris congratulated me on my birthday on a day that, well, wasn't my birthday. This reflects an intentional casualness I have about my date of birth online. I am profligate with my dates of birth. The only rule is that none of them is correct. We all know that date of birth is one of the ways financial institutions and others try to make sure they've got the real you - so it seems best not to broadcast your birthday this way if you want to avoid identity theft. (Actually it's academic, as the only time I've suffered identity theft so far they used totally random dates of birth and it wasn't picked up. But hey.)

So you will find, for instance, that on Goodreads I was born on April 1, 1959. I have no idea where it got this date from - it's not the date I put in, but I rather liked it when it came up, so I stuck with it. In the 'Rochdale Hall of Fame' (don't laugh) which I proudly share with the likes of Gracie Fields and Anna Friel, I was apparently born on March 22, 1955 (closer but no cigar). And Wikipedia (I must do something about that photograph - I don't know who put it up, but it's terrible) accurately but coyly places me in 1955. I can think of at least three other dates I've used, though I'm not quite sure where they are.

So move over, Mrs Windsor. Two birthdays? Pah! That's nothing.

Photo from Wikipedia


  1. Whilst also a republican I am somewhat patriotic, and even though I may not support the monarchy I am certainly proud of my green and pleasant land. However, I am a little concerned that this article is merely a gently veiled plea for more birthday presents!

  2. I honestly hadn't thought of birthday presents, Craig!

    I too am patriotric and very supportive of my country - but as France dramatically demonstrates, it is perfectly possible do this without a monarchy.