In the early hours of the morning, the silent streets of the City of London were disturbed by the sound of horse and carriage, as the City rehearsed its annual pageant ahead of this weekend’s Lord Mayor’s Show.
And this year there is a new twist in the tale. Alderman Fiona Woolf has been elected as the 686th Lord Mayor of the City of London — only the second woman to hold the title.
Thanks to the ancient paranoia of King John, every newly-elected Lord Mayor of London has to leave the safety of the City of London and travel up the Thames to Westminster to swear loyalty to the Crown.
Riding in the State Coach, which is over 250 years old (built in 1757), early this morning, the newly elected Lord Mayor rehearsed her part in the ceremonial portions of this annual parade.
Passing through empty streets in the dead of night, the Lord Mayor rode from the ancient Guildhall to Mansion House — the 260 year old home of the Lord Mayor of London.
Thence to St Paul’s Cathedral, where on Saturday, grandstands will be packed full of guests to observe as the Lord Mayor receives the blessing of the Church.
On this morning, the rehearsal went as would be expected for a ceremony that has taken place every year since 1215, and that is without a hitch.
Even the predicted rain just about managed to hold off until after the event.
The main show takes place this Saturday, and the fireworks are back again this year — at 5pm on the Thames near the Oxo Tower.