Saturday, 14 November 2009

The Lord Mayor's Show

Congratulations to Nick Anstee, who today is assuming the office of Lord Mayor of London, the 682nd Lord Mayor.   The event will be celebrated most of the day in the City of London, by the Lord Mayor's Show, believed to be the oldest procession in the world.   It dates back to 1540 and has only ever been cancelled once, for the Duke of Wellington's funeral in 1852.

The Lord Mayor travels in the 252-year-old golden State Coach, and watches an RAF flypast before setting off.   The parade begins at the Guildhall and includes stops at St. Paul's, where the Lord Mayor will receive a blessing, the Royal Courts of Justice, where he takes an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen, and Mansion House, his official residence.   All sorts of events accompany the parade, which is three miles long.   There are decorated floats, races, military bands, marching by, among others, the Honourable Artillery Company and The Royal Fusiliers, who have the privilege of marching through the City of London.   The Great Twelve Livery Companies—the Mercers, Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers, Goldsmiths, Merchant Taylors, Skinners, Haberdashers, Salters, Ironmongers, Vintners and Clothworkers—participate as of right; other Livery Companies participate by invitation, though the Lord Mayor's own company is always among these, as are representatives of the charities he supports.     In fact there are 63 participating organisations - made up of 122 vehicles, 149 horses and 23 bands, and in the evening a magnificent firework display.

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