ICYMI: Kate Middleton and Prince William welcomed royal baby number three today. But the arrival of the new little prince means more than a change to the British line of succession—his birthday is actually a national holiday close to the royal family’s heart.
Today, April 23, marks St. George’s Day, a feast holiday (yep, like Thanksgiving) that celebrates the patron saint of England. St. George has been the official protector of the royal family since the Middle Ages, so yeah, he’s a pretty big deal.
As the story goes, St. George was a soldier in the Roman army who was tortured for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. His cross is featured on the English flag and the U.K. Union Jack flag.
Wondering why you’ve never heard of St. George’s Day? Well, popularity of the holiday died out in the 16th century, but it’s experiencing a resurgence.
St. George’s Day is also the day the royal family announces nominations for the Order of the Garter, the highest and longest-running order of chivalry in the U.K. Nominees attend a special ceremony in June at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, aka the location of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May 19 wedding.
So there you have it: There’s lots to celebrate today.