Today was the Lord Mayor’s Show in London. The show is one of the oldest and well established pageants in Britain. The show is the confirmation (or inauguration) of the new Lord Mayor, it is a combination of carnival, pageant and trooping – it features appearances from the mounted band of the Household Cavalry (pictured) and besides when in the presence of a member of the Royal Family, the Lord Mayor’s presence is the only other time the band wears their famous gold coats as traditionally, the Lord Mayor pays for the tunics.
The pageant processes through London when it culminates in arrival at the Royal Courts in Westminster, where the new Lord Mayor swears allegiance to the crown.
The parade, which begins at about eleven o’clock, concludes at about half past two in the afternoon. The procession is over three miles long, but the route itself is much shorter; the head of the procession reaches the end of the route before the Lord Mayor even leaves his home. In the evening, a fireworks display is held.
With almost 500 years of history, this is the second oldest pageant in terms of its origins, only second to the State Opening Of Parliament. Although Her Majesty plays no particular personal part in this ceremony, it is her that the new Lord Mayor swears allegiance to
The Lord Mayor travels in a State Coach, very similar and in fact the panels on the side were designed by the same person who designed those for the Royal Golden State Coach for George III that is used at coronations. In today’s money, it would have cost over £120,000 to make.
Along the route, the Lord Mayor stops at St Paul’s Cathedral in order to receive a blessing from the Dean on the Cathedral steps. On his arrival at the Royal Courts of Justice in Westminster, he takes the oath of allegiance; the return procession then recongregates on Aldwych, outside the London School of Economics stretching down to the River, before it begins from Temple Place.
When returning, as when going to the Royal Courts of Justice, the Lord Mayor joins the back of the procession. Upon his return to Mansion House, members of the City of London Corporation welcome him.