Lord Mayor’s Show is 800 years in the making

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Military bands, giant teapots, dragons, African drummers, an inflatable pig, and a Red Dwarf Starbug will feature in the three-mile-long procession at this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show.

The noisiest, largest, and most colourful event in the City of London’s calendar takes place on 9 November, bringing together over 6,500 people, 120 horses, and over 60 decorated floats in a major spectacle that dates back to the 13th century.

William Russell, who has been elected as the 692nd Lord Mayor of the City of London and will take office on 8 November, will ride in the procession in the golden State Coach, which has been used in every Lord Mayor’s Show since 1757 and is the oldest ceremonial vehicle in regular use in the world.

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Check out all the marching bands as the beating of their drums echo though the City streets. All photos by Clive Totman.

The annual event, which celebrates the City’s ancient past and modern outlook, enables the Lord Mayor to ‘show’ himself or herself to people across the City of London, as well as to swear an oath of allegiance to the sovereign.

Cheered on by tens of thousands of people lining the streets and millions watching live BBC coverage and online streaming of the event, the procession will leave Mansion House, the Lord Mayor’s official residence, at 11am.

Lord Mayor Elect Mr Russell said: “There is nothing quite like the Lord Mayor’s Show, in terms of size, colour, or ability to bring together so many diverse participants, including young people from London’s schools and community groups, in one celebratory and inclusive event.

“The show and the role of the Lord Mayor are both unique, and I am hugely looking forward to taking part on 9 November, and to serving as Lord Mayor of the City of London for the coming year.

“Championing innovation, growing our global trade and investment, and promoting culture and the arts will be the three key themes of my mayoral year, all of which contribute towards making the City, London, and the UK such appealing places in which to live, learn, work, and visit.”

The family-friendly focus of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show is further highlighted by a range of free activities taking place at ‘Show Zones’ alongside the parade at Paternoster Square and Bloomberg Arcade.

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There are plenty of unusual parts of the procession

The entertainment includes craft workshops, walking tours, face painting, and music from local bands and choirs, as well as fairground rides in St Paul’s Churchyard and food stalls in Paternoster Square. This year, four of London’s Thames bridges – London, Millennium, Cannon Street, and Southwark – which have been involved in the Illuminated River project, will provide some surprises for the crowds.

But there will be no fireworks display on the Embankment this year. The City of London Corporation, which is headed by the Lord Mayor and supports the Lord Mayor’s Show, is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £100m every year.

In partnership with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra, and Museum of London, the City Corporation is leading the development of Culture Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate, a multi-million-pound initiative to create a new cultural and creative destination for London.

As part of this, the City Corporation is providing a £197m investment in the new Museum of London, which will open in West Smithfield in 2024, and £4.9m to support the development of the proposed Centre for