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The sovereign’s birthday has long been celebrated – in fact since 1748 – on a sunny Saturday in June, with an impressive military parade, known as ‘Trooping the Colour’. Carried out by the Household Cavalry on Horse Guard Parade by St. James’s Park in Whitehall, this is Her Majesty’s public birthday celebration, despite her actual birthday being on the 21st of April. This year, the parade was held on Saturday the 6th of June. June is a fitting month for a royal birthday, gifting the public with an opportunity to take advantage of the spring weather with an outdoor parade. The birthstone also happens to be the illustrious pearl, also known as the ‘Queen of Gems’ and once the most valuable of all gems. For that special someone who has their birthday in the month of June, Tru Diamonds™ has an alluring array of pearl jewellery items to choose from. We recommend the Exquisite Pearl Pendants that couple three Tru Diamonds™ gems with a pearl, in either platinum or 18ct gold clad setting. Match one of these pendants with a pair of dainty Precious and Pearl Earrings, also available in either platinum or 18ct gold cladding, for an elegant ensemble that will be treasured for all time. So, what of the proceedings on the Queen’s official birthday? Well, the parade incorporates approximately 400 musicians and 1400 officers and their men. These men come from Household Cavalry, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and one of five of the Foot Guard Regiments, either the Coldstream Guards, Grenadier Guards, Irish Guards, Scots Guards, or Welsh Guards. Only one Foot Guard Regiment is selected to take part each year. The significance of the name ‘Trooping the Colour’ comes from the old military tradition of parading their uniforms before and after battle to show they were intact. The damage or capture of an army’s official colour, or insignia, was considered to be one of the greatest shames. Today, this reference is only ceremonial. The history of the pearl as a precious gem stretches far back into ancient civilisations, featuring prominently in the Arab world, Asia, Rome and ancient Egypt in particular. The Roman general Vitellius is believed to have paid for a military campaign with the sale of a single pearl earring that had belonged to his mother. It is also said that Cleopatra proved her nation to be of unrivalled heritage and wealth, and therefore unconquerable, when she invited Marc Anthony to dine on a single crushed pearl dissolved in a goblet of wine. This act was considered to be of exceptional power due to the rarity of the gems, and Rome had to concede that Egypt held a power and wealth previously unaccounted for. Marc Anthony declined to partake in this particular meal – Cleopatra had made her point. The morning is filled with military finery, regalia and synchronous marching as Her Majesty looks on. It is a fine example of the pomp and pageantry of the British Monarchy and a marvel to behold. The pièce de résistance to some is the fly-past of the Royal Air Force held at one o’clock as the Queen and the royal family watch from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.