There has been a Lord Mayor of London since 1189 when Henry FitzAilwyn first held the office. In 1215, King John granted a Charter allowing the citizens of the City of London to elect their own Mayor. The Charter stipulated that the new Lord Mayor must be presented to the Sovereign for approval and to swear loyalty to the Crown. Each year since then, the newly elected Lord Mayor has travelled from the City to the Royal Courts of Justice to pledge allegiance to the Crown. Thus, the Lord Mayor’s journey has taken place annually for well over 800 years, surviving the Plague, the Great Fire of London, and countless wars and insurrections.
The modern Lord Mayor’s procession is a direct descendant of that first journey from the City, and the pageantry of Pepys and Canaletto is recognizable today. Over the years, the Mayor’s journey became so splendid that it became known as the Lord Mayor’s Show. The current Shows are a wonderful mixture of past, present and future. Participants include businesses from the City of London, livery companies, charities, His Majesty’s armed forces, the City Police and Londoners from all walks of life. All come together to celebrate the City’s tradition and future splendidly. The procession is over five miles long, yet its route is only three-and-a-half miles. Over half a million people come to the City to watch the procession and another three million views on television worldwide.
The Paviors Company have participated in the Show for several years, and their float pulled by a steam-roller is easily recognisable. Details of next year’s event are on the Lord Mayor’s Show website. Details of next year’s Show are also available on Facebook and Twitter.