London Festivals: the Lord Mayor’s City show

London, the Thames embankment. Foto: Belaya Alesya
London, the Thames embankment. Foto: Belaya Alesya

On November 14 in the British capital of London will be held a colorful and grandiose event, the Lord Mayor's Show, which is comparable to the London carnival.

The City of London is London's historic district that has always stood out of the crowd, yet it is here located the Bank of England and the London Stock Exchange, as well as representation of the world's largest companies and funds. Today the City is the largest financial center not only for Britain but also around the world, it has its own police, municipality, coat of arms and even the queen can enter the City only with the permission of the mayor. Lord Mayor is one of the oldest posts in British history; in 1215 King John signed a decree authorizing the City residents to choose their mayor, who was elected from the aldermen (the elders of the city council) for one year. Today the position of Lord Mayor is more symbolic (the main civil cases is in competence of Primary Mayor, a specially elected official), but earlier, a man bearing this title was very honored, and had enormous power. So, according to the tradition for almost 800 years after the election of the Lord Mayor is organized a grandiose feast, which attracts tens of thousands of citizens and tourists.

The main procession starts at 11 am from the Guildhall and goes to the Mansion-House - the official residence of Lord Mayor, where he joins the procession. At the same time Lord Mayor himself rides in a gilded carriage at the end of the column, and at the beginning of it march the ranks of military bands, cadets, students, representatives of banks and firms located in the City, the traditional black taxi cabs and even tanks. The first stop takes place near the cathedral of St. Paul, where new Lord Mayor receives a blessing from the abbot, and then the path of the procession lies to the building of the Royal Court, where the mayor swears to the Queen in the presence of the judges. After this the procession turns around and goes in the opposite direction. And in the evening between the Blackfriars Bridge and the Waterloo Bridge over the Thames is organized a grand firework.

To learn how the British honor this ancient tradition you can just find the fact that for nearly 800 years neither two deadly plague nor the Great Fire of London nor the Second World War could not stop the event: it always happens every year, except one time, when the ceremony was postponed due to the funeral of the Duke of Wellington.

Date: 05/11/2009

Comments (0)

No comments