The Lord Mayors Show
Andrea Vail reports from this years Lord Mayors Show
This past Saturday saw the biggest and oldest street party and procession in the world make its annual trip through the City of London. Of course I’m talking about the Lord Mayor’s Show. It is the annual procession of the newly elected Lord Mayor of the City of London from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice in Westminster to swear their loyalty to the sovereign.
This year’s Lord Mayor is Alan Yarrow. He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers and is the alderman of the Ward of Bridge and Bridge Without, home to the Fishmongers’ livery hall.
He is the 687th person to hold the office of the Lord Mayor. He replaces Fiona Wolfe who had the distinction of being just the second woman to hold the title in its 800+ year history.
Next year the Lord Mayor’s Show will be celebrating its 800th anniversary, as will the document which was responsible for the show; Magna Carta.
In the summer of 1215, King John was petitioned by his barons to sign Magna Carta, which outlined items that brought the King under the law and assured the rights of all men. London is the only place to be mentioned by name in Magna Carta, and William Hardell the mayor of the City of London in 1215 the only non-baron to sign it.
One of the items in Magna Carta is that the City of London is to elect a new mayor each year, and that upon entering office, they shall swear their loyalty to the sovereign. And so the journey each year from the City of London to the City of Westminster was born. The journey also gave the City a chance to show the new mayor to the people – hence the Lord Mayor’s Show.
As a nod to the double 800-year anniversary in 1215, this year we had a slightly odd star in the show that many may not have noticed. The City of London’s 1297 copy of Magna Carta was in the procession this year, though you couldn’t technically see it. The document was fitted into the Edward VII state coach (on loan from the Royal Mews) and was just before the Lord Mayor’s state coach in the procession. If you spotted the ‘empty’ looking coach, that was it. I like to think the Magna Carta had a little day out.
Andrea’s next walk is Re-moved, Re-used and Recycled on Sunday 23rd November which looks at buildings in the City that are not in the place they originally were.