The spectacle of the Lord Mayor's Show returns to London

After a year’s hiatus the Lord Mayor’s Show has returned to the streets of London. Over 7000 participants have paraded through the City of London, including 1800 military personnel from 35 separate Units.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, last year’s Lord Mayor’s Show was cancelled for the first time since 1852; this year it returns with gusto. Saturday’s parade continues a historical tradition lasting over 800 years when in 1215 King John’s Mayoral Charter decreed that the Lord Mayor of London, in this case the new Lord Mayor of London, Mr Vincent Keaveny, presented himself to The Sovereign on assuming office.
 
Nowadays, the Lord Mayor is received by the Lord Justice of England and the Master of the Rolls on behalf of the Her Majesty The Queen and the procession has become an international spectacle combining state procession, military parade and carnival. Comprised of around 150 different groups of participants, many in historic uniforms and marching with floats and 200 horses, 140 motor, and steam, vehicles the procession is a sight to behold, enrapturing the crowds lining the streets as they pass.   
 
As the procession marched, walked and danced from the Guildhall to the Royal Courts before finally returning to Mansion House, it took the procession around an hour and ten minutes to process past each spectator. Within the procession were representatives from all the regiments, Regular and Reserve, based in London.

Spectators could pick out The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in their gleaming breastplates, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery pulling their World War One 13 Pounder Guns, or the 4th Battalion Parachute Regiment ready to jump out of a cross-section of a C-130 Aircraft to name a few.

Second Lieutenant Westlake, Platoon Commander, F Company, The London Regiment, said: “It’s great to be amongst the City, as reservists we walk these streets for our day to day jobs, so it is great to connect with them in our military capacity; one of my Rifleman has not stopped grinning from ear to ear!”  
 
All of this was accompanied by music from civilian and military bands including a number of bands from the Massed Bands of the Household Division as well as bands from London based Army Reserve Units such as the Band of the London Regiment or the Band of the Honourable Artillery Company.
 
For one Unit the procession held particular significance, 256 (City of London) Field Hospital were this year given the honour of leading the parade as the Guard of Honour. Prior to the procession, the Unit were awarded a ceremonial scroll by the new Lord Mayor signifying their City of London privileged status. Major Jen Ross, 256 (CoL) Field Hospital, Commander of the Guard of Honour said: “It’s a huge privilege for us to lead the parade and a proud moment for the Unit, as medics we are not routinely involved with ceremonial duties and after a difficult year, both as military personnel and as civilian healthcare workers, it is amazing to receive recognition from the City as well as the General Public.”
 
Of special note, was the awarding of the Cutler’s Sword to Lance Sergeant Evans of the Irish Guards, who is currently posted to the Army School of Ceremonial as a Flute Instructor. He won the award for showing unusual and exemplary ability as a Drummer and Bugler, and performing to the highest standards as an infantry non-commissioned officer. The uniquely engraved sword was presented to Lance Sergeant Evans by the Lord Mayor himself outside the Mansion House in the City of London.