London’s Lord Mayor

By | Category: Travel news
Lord Mayor's coach

In 1757 Sir Charles Asgill bought the state coach in which Lord Mayors ride during the show Image © City of London

The media attention given to the last mayor of London, Boris Johnstone overshadows the fact that there is a Lord Mayor, a role that has existed for 800 years and pre-dates important features in British heritage such as Magna Carta, the Reformation, Shakespeare,  political parties and the union of our countries into the United Kingdom.

The Lord Mayor is the figurehead of the city of London and not London as it is known today. many is the tough time I have had explaining the difference between the two figures to overseas visitors and even people from outside the square mile that is colloquially used to describe the City of London.

But mention the Lord Mayor’s Show and many Britons will know that November means the time for a spectacle concerning coaches, floats and a parade that stretches back in time to when lots of the countries in the world today didn’t even exist. Although the highlight is the Show, festivities began with Lord Mayor’s Day – a tradition that goes back 800 years.

This year the Lord Mayor’s Show will be on the twelfth of November. This free extravaganza was once just a procession that started before lunch and slowly journeyed through some of the streets in the city. Today it has grown. At 9am is the beginning of the river pageant and the procession begins at 11am. This year there will be 180 horses, 164 vehicles  of all sorts including steam and fire engines, military and marching bands  (from the UK and elsewhere) as well as any number of entertainers along the route. Then in the early evening darkness at 5.15 pm will be the fireworks display an integral part of the celebrations but that depends on the peculiarities of the British weather.

If you can’t make the walk or the procession there is always television. BBC will be, as usual, televising the Lord Mayor’s Show live.

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