U.S. Slips Up Its Queen Elizabeth II Birthday Greeting

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Birthday Candles

Jamie Grill/Tetra Images/Corbis

America sang “How-old-are-you-now?” To its dismay, the royal family replied: “You’re-one-week-too-soon.”

That was the scene on Friday, as the State Department admitted that it mistimed its birthday greeting for Queen Elizabeth II. The AP reports that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s birthday wishes for the Queen were actually a week too soon

“The United States has always been grateful for her friendship and example,” said Clinton in the message. “Once again, I wish Queen Elizabeth II a very happy birthday and peace and prosperity for the people of the United Kingdom in the year to come.”

The Queen was born on April 21, 1926, but perennially celebrates a second birthday on a government ordained Saturday during the month of June. The AP reports that tradition stems back to King Edward VII (1841-1910), who wished to celebrate with a parade during the summer, rather than have the procession dampened by weather on his actual November 9 birthday.