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Troops of Color: King Charles III's Birthday Parade.

Troops of Color: King Charles III's Birthday Parade.

With thousands of soldiers wearing military uniforms and bearskin hats, Great Britain celebrates the birthday of King Charles III on Saturday (11am CET). Due to his cancer, and unlike last year, the King will not participate in the “Trooping the Colour” extravaganza on horseback. The 75-year-old travels the short distance from Buckingham Palace to the parade ground in a carriage.

The name “Trooping the Colour” refers to the display of the flags of the participating regiments, also known as the “colour”. The ceremony likely originated during the reign of King Charles II (1660 – 1685). In 1748 it was decided that the parade would celebrate the king's official birthday. The main reason is that the weather is usually better when the date is in June. Charles III turned 75 on November 14.

This event features soldiers of the Royal Bodyguard, dressed in red parade uniforms and bearskin hats, marching in front of the King on the parade grounds. The final highlight is always the Royal Air Force military planes and helicopters flying over Buckingham Palace, while the royal family stands on the balcony.

The surprise engagement of Charles' son-in-law, Princess Kate, 42, is also likely a highlight for royal fans: the wife of heir-to-the-throne Prince William, 41, also announced she had been diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. Since and has not been seen in public since. “I'm looking forward to attending the King's Birthday Parade with my family this weekend, and I hope to participate in some public events in the summer,” she said Friday evening in a personal message.

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On the sidelines of the event, members of the Republican organization want to demonstrate for the abolition of the monarchy.