Home » Festivals and Events » Review: Lord Mayor’s Show 2021 in the City of London – 13th November 2021

Review: Lord Mayor’s Show 2021 in the City of London – 13th November 2021

The Lord Mayor’s Show is one of the oldest and most important traditions of London, its origins go back to 1215 when King John was in trouble with his Barons, he looked to the City of London for support. In 1215 the King was persuaded to issue a Royal Charter that allowed the City of London to elect its own Mayor, but there was an important condition. Every year the newly elected Mayor must leave the safety of the City, travel upriver to the small town of Westminster and swear loyalty to the Crown. The Lord Mayor has now made the journey for 800 years, despite plagues and fires and countless wars, and more recently Covid to pledged his (and her) loyalty to 34 kings and queens of England.

For the next few hundred years, the Lord Mayor of London was by far the grandest position to which a commoner could aspire, and the Mayor’s journey was the celebrity spectacle of its day. Over the centuries it grew so splendid and so popular that by the 16th century it was known everywhere as the Lord Mayor’s Show. It features in the plays of Shakespeare, the diaries of Pepys and in the pantomime story of Dick Whittington, who was the Mayor of London three times. In the 20th century the Lord Mayor’s Show was the first outside event ever to be broadcast live and it still attracts a TV audience of millions.

The modern Lord Mayor’s procession is a direct descendant of that first journey to Westminster. The state coach is 250 years old and the show features the City’s businesses, Livery Companies, charities, Her Majesty’s Forces, the City Police and Londoners from all walks of life who come together to enjoy a celebration of the City’s ancient power and prosperity.

This is a procession unlike any other in the world: The 2021 Lord Mayor’s Procession included full-size model elephants, Japanese drummers, a horse-drawn bus, the tallest fire engine in Europe and the Lord Mayor’s State Coach, the oldest ceremonial vehicle in the world still in regular use.

The procession sets off from Mansion House at 11am and was led off by The Band of The Grenadier Guards and the Band of The Coldstream Guards which are two of the oldest military bands.

Some of the highlights of the procession include: China Chamber of Commerce in the UK

Representatives of the modern Livery Companies.

The Bank of England’s float.

Next came, Gog and Magog, the traditional guardians of the City of London. They first walked at the head of the Lord Mayor’s procession around five hundred years ago.

The many bands provide the music.

The procession marks the first public engagement for the new Lord Mayor of the City of London, Vincent Keaveny. Mr Keaveny, the 693rd Lord Mayor, travelled to the Royal Courts to swear allegiance to the Crown before taking up his role.

The new Lord Mayor is followed by the Company of Pikemen & Musketeers which is a ceremonial unit of the Honourable Artillery Company who provide a ceremonial bodyguard for the Lord Mayor of the City.

The procession lasted for around an hour long and reached the Royal Courts at around 12.30. The return leg left Temple Place at 1.10pm and the tail of the procession arrived back at Mansion House at 2.30.

This eclectic procession is one of the great free shows of the London year, although part of a long tradition, the emphasis is always about fun and spectacle. With marching bands, military personnel, horses, carriages, colourful floats and much more. The Lord Mayor’s Show is one parade that you are never sure what you are going to see next. The dry weather bought out crowds who after enforced lockdowns returned to enjoy the procession.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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