Although British influence on the global stage has not always been exemplary, it is at least undeniable. Due to such far-reaching British influence in politics, culture and entertainment, it comes as no surprise that many famous British birthdays are celebrated by adoring fans and historians alike from all corners of the globe.
So, which influential British figures have birthdays worth celebrating? Here’s our pick of just a few legends that have shaped history. Famous British Birthdays
Sir David Attenborough – king of broadcasting
David Attenborough’s career as a television presenter and natural historian is second-to-none in the history of television. Born on May 8th 1926, his birthday is celebrated in both the UK and abroad. Having filmed countless television shows across almost every country on earth, Sir Dave is a living national treasure and on every British person’s ‘bucket list’ of who to meet. Learn more about his extraordinary career through BBC Online and Netflix.
Queen Elizabeth II – so awesome she gets two birthdays
Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II, is currently the longest-serving monarch alive. She ascended to the throne at age 27 in 1953, making her 94 years old. The Queen famously has two birthdays. The one celebrated on April 21st is her actual birthday. The other is observed on August 12th in an attempt by the British monarchy to ensure that the famously unpredictably British weather ‘plays ball’ during the festivities.
Winston Churchill – our saviour with a cigar
Winston Churchill, the man who repelled the Nazi invasion of the UK, is one of the most highly regarded politicians in modern British history. With his steadfast refusal to give in to Hitler, Churchill raised British spirits, mustered the army, and smashed the German invasion during the Battle of Britain.
To this day, Churchill is revered with god-like prowess, so much so that his portrait can now be seen on the fiver. To learn more about Churchill, visit the Churchill War Rooms, the underground HQ of the British war effort, and see the actual spaces where British leaders planned a road to victory in WWII. For a glimpse into Churchill’s early life, book a tour of Blenheim Palace.
Freddy Mercury – a rock legend
Freddy Mercury, born on September 5th 1946, is immortalised as perhaps the greatest singer in rock music history. Freddie confirmed himself as an irrepressible force of 20th-century music long before his untimely death in 1991. His outrageous, energy-filled on-stage performances, coupled with his world-class song writing and an ability to excite crowds of tens of thousands, have resulted in his birthday being is celebrated by fans worldwide each year.
In London, there is an unofficial shrine outside Freddie’s former home and studio in Kensington. The shrine was created by fans as a place to pay their respects and honour the late, great singer. Fans leave letters, pictures and poems about the rock superstar, who unlike his on-stage persona, actually kept his home life private and secluded.
David Bowie – a starman on Earth
Another ‘tour-de-force’ of British rock music, Bowie’s career spanned six decades. Born on January 8th 1947, he wrote, recorded and produced dozens of hits all around the world, including classics such as The Man Who Sold the World, Heroes, Starman and Let’s Dance. A talented actor, Bowie was also well-known for his portrayal of Jareth the Goblin King in the 1986 fantasy classic, Labyrinth.
After his death in 2016, a mural of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust appeared in Brixton, London, close to his place of birth which fans can still visit.