The Lord Mayor’s Show is one of the best-known annual events in London as well as one of the longest-established, dating back to the 16th century. The ‘Lord Mayor’ after whom the show is named is the Lord Mayor of the City of London, a city and ceremonial county within Greater London and the historic centre of the wider metropolis. The City is also London’s main modern financial district, widely known informally as ‘the Square Mile’.
A new Lord Mayor is appointed every year and the public parade that is made of his or her inauguration reflects the fact that this was once one of the most prominent offices in England. The position of Lord Mayor has a role within the City and is entirely distinct from the position of Mayor of London (a role which has existed only since 2000), namely the elected head of the Greater London Authority.
The Lord Mayor’s Show is centred on a street parade which in its modern form is a light-hearted combination of traditional British pageantry and elements of carnival. On the day after being sworn in, the Lord Mayor and several others participate in a procession from the Guildhall, via Mansion House and St Paul’s Cathedral, in the heart of the City of London, to the Royal Courts of Justice on the edge of the City of Westminster, where the new Lord Mayor swears allegiance to the Crown.