The Lord Mayor’s Show

A series of images from the Lord Mayor’s Show yesterday in London.

In a tradition stretching back almost 800 years and enshrined in a charter by King John, the Lord Mayor’s Show is a wonderfully colourful event which sees the new Lord Mayor of London travel across the City of London from Guildhall to Mansion House, Bank, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Courts of Justice—where he is required to swear an oath of allegiance to the Sovereign—before returning to Mansion House. He travels (in a supremely elaborate 18th century stately coach) with a procession stretching some three miles and including over 6,000 people, with hundreds of vehicles and floats—from livery companies to military units to charities, and from brass bands to samba to pogo dancers.

Originally the Lord Mayor and his procession travelled on the Thames by boat (whence, as it so happens, the word ‘float’), and later on horseback; but since 1712 he has travelled by carriage. For further details visit

The first few shots were taken in the Yard at Guildhall, as the Lord Mayor’s Coach was prepared; the rest were taken just outside Guidhall, as the procession passed along Gresham Street.

In the Yard at Guildhall.

The 684th Lord Mayor of London, David Wootton, waves from the Lord Mayor’s Coach, at Guildhall just before the beginning of the parade.

Preparing to leave the Yard.

Worshipful Companies of Fletchers and Bowyers

Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps

Westridge Carriages

Institute of Directors

Kellswater Flute Band

Dogs Trust

Paraiso School of Samba

Christ’s Hospital School Band

The clean up. The end of the procession is followed by a small army of street cleaners and sweepers, who within a matter of minutes manage to make Gresham Street look as though it hasn’t just seen the back of a three mile procession with scores of horses, masses of sand and the occasional tank.

For those interested, all images shot on a D700 with either the 14-24/2.8 or 70-200/2.8.

Photos © Rudolf Abraham. No unauthorized use.

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