The first day at the office is usually a time for keeping a low profile and slowly introducing yourself to new colleagues – unless of course you happen to be starting your term as Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Despite being voted in as the 689th Lord Mayor back on 29 September, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley will not take office until Friday 11 November. And no sooner has he got his feet under the table then the fresh face in the historic red robes will be a man about town, with the City welcoming him to his new role in exuberant fashion throughout the annual Lord Mayor’s Show.
Kicking off at 9am on Saturday 12 November, the annual party is a tradition steeped in history, with prominent community groups – most notably the City’s many livery companies – paying homage to the Lord Mayor. By land or by sea (well, river), Square Mile revellers take the celebration very seriously, with many considering sharing some of the spotlight as a real feather in the cap. The 11am procession, which follows the 9am river pageant, is estimated to be around three and a half miles long and will feature more than 7,000 participants, 20 bands, 150 horses, and hundreds of carriages, carts, coaches and other vehicles of all shapes and sizes.
Tower Bridge, currently under maintenance until the start of 2017, is even set to be raised during the river Thames flotilla in its own iconic salute to Dr Parmley. The day’s events, which conclude with a lavish fireworks display, have been carefully orchestrated by Pageantmaster Dominic Reid. Midway through the annual festivities, at a ceremony at the Royal Courts, Dr Parmley will swear allegiance to the crown. He is to replace Jeffrey Mountevans in one of the most influential, coveted and unique jobs in the country.