Living in New Zealand: Queen’s Birthday

Did you know that New Zealand has a queen?

It does – Queen Elizabeth II – and today just happens to be the official government marking of her birthday.  While the queen’s authority doesn’t overrule that of the House of Representatives, she is still considered to be the “Queen of New Zealand” and head of state.  England’s monarch has made a total of 10 visits to this country and I think that this picture, taken during a visit to Wellington, would rival even the new Princess Kate’s style, don’t you?

image via

In New Zealand, Queen’s Birthday falls on the first Monday during the month of June.  It’s a public holiday and a very welcome long weekend.  When we moved here 2 years ago, we were in the midst of job interviews (for me) and moving out of our hotel and into our (current) apartment.  I can still remember my then-future boss asking me about emailing my references in the USA and whether or not she would hear back from them soon, since it was Queen’s Birthday and all.  I had to gently point out that we don’t celebrate Queen’s Birthday in the United States, not since a “little” event called the Revolutionary War back in the 1700s.  She got a good laugh out of that, remarking on how she forgot we weren’t “part of the Empire” 🙂

We celebrate Queen’s Birthday now, though, and this year was supposed to be our first year of making a real to-do about it.  The fact that Queen’s Birthday just happens to fall during the same weekend as the celebration of the queen’s Diamond Jubilee seemed to make it extra special, and we were looking forward to celebrating with friends on Sunday night.  Unfortunately, Joe was unwell and I spent the evening at home with him.  Our combined Queen’s Birthday/game night/birthday party for friends was relocated to another house, and Chris went along.  He had to, really – I’d made a birthday cake the day before and as delicious as it was, no way was I going to let it sit in our fridge, tempting me:

Yes, it’s lopsided and yes, the frosting job is a bit wonky, but at the end of the day, the most important thing about any cake is how it tastes.  Besides, I made that while also taking care of a sick bubby, and when it came time to frost it I thought, “Oh, who cares!”.  I told Chris that I didn’t mind missing the celebrations, but that he had better come back with at least a slice of cake for me.  It’s no fun making and decorating a cake when you don’t get to taste it for yourself!

The remainder of our weekend was spent in a laid-back fashion.  I ended up awake from about 1am – 4:30am on Monday (didn’t actually get sick, but felt like I could and decided to get up and distract myself as opposed to lying in bed, mentally willing myself to fall asleep/not throw up).  Chris stayed home till 8:45am (super late for him) and then went into the office.  Joe and I walked over later with some lunch, then went home while Chris finished his work day.  It was relaxed and fun up till Joe woke from his afternoon nap.  I tried to give him a little snack, as usual, and he ended up throwing up everywhere the moment he saw the food in my hand.  I’ll spare you the rest of the details regarding his “other” types of illness.  All I’ll say is that I am incredibly thankful for my washer and dryer, handheld shower heads, and cleaning supplies!

Happy Queen’s Birthday!

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3 comments

  1. Laura says:

    I didn’t realize NZ was under British rule? And really until the Diamond Jubilee I hadn’t heard of it before. I guess it’s like the States and 4th of July or Memorial Day.

    I hope everyone is feeling better and that cake looks divine! Yum 🙂 I hope you got a taste!

  2. Hannah says:

    That little war. I once told a group of Brits that the Star Spangled Banner was written about that batter that we won against them – rubbing salt in the wound 😉

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