July 6 is Nancy Reagan's birthday and "The Group" -- which is what her closest friends call themselves -- are planning a party at Chasen's restaurant in Los Angeles.
"The Group" is a half-dozen or so couples with whom the Ronald Reagans socialize and celebrate every special occasion.
When people talk about "The Group" in Los Angeles, one of the most oft-repeated stories is that they got together a couple of years ago on Nancy Reagan's birthday and chipped in to buy her a diamond bracelet.
Not true, one of them said last week, but they did all contribute to buy her a gold chain and a gold lion with diamond eyes which is one of her favorite pieces of jewelry.
"The Group" includes attorney William French Smith, cosmetics tycoon Armand Deutsch, former Diner's Club board chairman Alfred Bloomingdale, motion picture producer Jack Wrather, steel magnate Earle Jorgensen and real-estate tycoon William Wilson -- and the wives.
Everyone except the Deutsches, who will be in Spain the month of July, will be at the Republican Convention in Detroit to be part of their friends' triumph. The men are all delegates.
For most of them, it will be at least the fourth time they have attended, hoping to see Reagan nominated.
It is "The Group" which is taking Nancy Reagan's favorite hairdresser, Julius, to Detroit as their treat. He will be doing not only her hair, but combing out the other ladies as well.
"The Group" has been friends for 20 years. "If you tried to organize something like this, it would never have worked," one of them said last week. "It just evolved out of shoulder-rubbing at the same parties."
The couples travel together all over the world. Except for the Reagans, most of them just got back from Europe.
They go to Sun Valley at least once a year. They go to Pebble Beach, where Smith has access to the showplace Crocker House, a "grand old establishment" built on the water's edge by the banking family.
They spend weekends together at a ranch the wilsons own in Mexico near Nogales, Ariz. Because of this Mexican connection, "The Group" will be joined in Detroit by Mrs. Diego yredo of Mexico City, whose rancher-hotel owner husband is a member of one of the oldest families in that country.
One source who knows Jordan's American-born Queen Noor was surprised at the very contented image she presented on her recent visit here. There are those who claim that she has had serious misgivings about her marriage and life in Amman. But one person who knows her well says that any speculation she divorce King Husein and come back to the United States (he already has one divorced queen living here) is ill-founded.
It was a time for tossing bouquets, but Jacqueline Onassis used the occasion to throw a few brickbats at the press. At the wedding of her niece, Courtney Kennedy, earlier this month, the former first lady cornered one well-known journalist who was also a guest and let him have it on the subject of privacy and the news media. She wanted him to explain to her why reporters and photographers don't allow people like her any privacy at all. She was particularly incensed over all that has been written about Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's private life . . . The woman with Mrs. Onassis much of the time at the wedding was her former maid during the days of "Camelot," Providencia Parades. Remember her? She's the one who used to complain because she had to iron her mistress' nylon stockings. The Kennedy family has stayed fond of "Provie" because she has resisted all overtones to write lucrative tell-all books. Robert F. Kennedy was so impressed with "Provie's" close-mouthed loyalty that he put her on his Senate payroll as a filing clerk when the former Mrs. John F. Kennedy moved to New York. "Provie" still gets invited to all family occasions as a reminder that they never forget who their real friends are.