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Lord Mayor’s Show: A Guide to Visiting the City’s 800-Year-Old Tradition

Lord Mayor’s Show: A Guide to Visiting the City’s 800-Year-Old Tradition

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The who, what, why, when and how of the 2023 Lord Mayor’s Show.

Pomp and ceremony – nowhere does it quite as well as London, as the Lord Mayor’s Show serves to remind us. This annual event is a longstanding London tradition that you should experience at least once. 

With the Lord Mayor’s Show returning to the City of London in the coming weeks, here’s everything you need to know…

A Guide to the Lord Mayor’s Show 2023

What is the Lord Mayor’s Show?

Lord Mayors Show

Dating back to the 13th century, the City of London was originally organised so that The Lord Mayor of The City of London could go and introduce himself to the King or Queen of England. 

Its history is wrapped up in one of England’s worst monarchs and one of its greatest creations – Bad King John and Magna Carta. In the early 1200s John’s rule was bringing England to its knees. London, in an effort to keep its head above the waters of an ever more likely civil war, sought sovereignty. London essentially wanted to become a city-state. 

When the Magna Carta was forced on King John the then Lord Mayor William Hardel ensured there was a clause that guaranteed London’s ancient traditions should be protected (and they certainly were). 

In the 800 years since the Lord Mayor’s Show has become a spectacle like no other There’s a whole elaborate parade and displays for revellers to enjoy. It still takes place in the form of a three-mile procession – the world’s oldest and longest of its kind. 

You’ll be able to see a mix of; military bands, 60 bright and colourful floats, and over 120 horses. 

Every year is different, whilst remaining faithful to the rich melting pot of cultures within the City.

What Date is the Lord Mayor’s Show in 2023?

Lord Mayors Show

Look no further for the Lord Mayor’s show date – the event takes place on the 11th November – this year – a Saturday!

Do I Need Tickets for the Lord Mayor’s Show?

Lord Mayors Show

The good news is that you do not need tickets for the Lord Mayor’s show, as the event is free to attend. There’s special disabled access – blue badge holders can apply here.

It starts in Bank around 11am and will finish in Aldwych at 2:30pm, 

Guests can attend at any point along the route, and there are festival zones with food stalls, exhibitions, live entertainment and funfair rides.

Crowds usually pack in at the Bank and Aldwych sections of the procession so you’ll want to get down there early to ensure that you get a spot where you can see more than just the back of somebody else’s head. 

There is a section of the procession that is usually a little quieter and that’s along Embankment. We’d suggest that if you want to beat the crowds or you’re attending with someone 

Who is the Lord Mayor in 2023?

This year the Lord Mayor of London is Michael Mainelli. Mainelli is an American-born scientist, accountant and economist. He’s qualified himself by serving as a Sheriff of The City of London from 2019 – 2021, among other things. 

As Lord Mayor, he’ll be representing the residents, the banks and big businesses in The City of London and generally drumming up more business from external markets. Seeing as the lion’s share of the UK’s financial sector is run from The City, it’s not a stretch to say that Mainelli is set to become a very powerful man on the 11th. 

It might be worth mentioning for anyone not familiar with London’s unique political setup that Mainelli is not the mayor of Greater London, just The City of London (aka the square mile) – that’s the job of Sadiq Khan. If you need that cleared up a little further, read the article in the link below. 

Read More: The Incredible History of the City of London: The World’s Longest Continuous Democracy

Other Practical Tips for Watching the Show

Lord Mayors Show

On the day of the Lord Mayor’s Show, it’s best to take public transport or walk as roads will be closed in the City of London. Be sure to wear comfy shoes and bring plenty of plasters, water and snacks to keep you going. Weather is typically unpredictable, so waterproofs and an umbrella are always advised.

There are also plenty of bathroom facilities, including those around the procession route, near the Old Bailey, Queen Victoria Street and Blackfriars Bridge. You should also download the ‘Toilet Finder’ app.

In previous years, there has also been a Lord Mayor Show’s ‘Ghost Parade’. This is a non-publicised run-through of the event taking place in the early hours of the morning. The horses, majestic coach and Lord Mayor are all in attendance.

Finally, if you can’t make the Lord Mayor’s Show, you can always enjoy it from the comfort of your living room. The BBC does full coverage and commentary.

And don’t forget to wave your flag!

To learn more, visit the official Lord Mayor Show’s website and download the official app.

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