Image credit: Magnus D/ Flickr
Just over one month ago Andrew Parmley became the 689th Lord Mayor of London. This role, is an apolitical and volunteer appointment, which is often confused with that of the Mayor of London. The title comes with the responsibility of becoming head of the City of London Corporation, whilst acting as an ambassador for the city, both at home and overseas.
Although complimentary to the Mayor of London’s role they provide an entirely different function to the city of London. Where-as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will take responsibility for the governance of Greater London, as well as leading the Greater London Authority, the Lord Mayor supports and promotes the financial and professional services in the UK, as well as furthering the idea that the City of London is a place to do business.
But what exactly does the Lord Mayor do? Well in the year 2014 Sir Alan Yarrow was said to have spent over 100 days travelling abroad, visited more than 20 countries and gave 800 speeches. Whilst in London business leaders and politicians from around the globe will be hosted at private events and banquets- typically held in Guildhall. This role is of global significance as it establishes the reputation and reach of the city.
One of the main tasks and responsibilities enlisted to the Lord Mayor of London is that of living at Mansion House during the course of the Mayoral Year. For those of you who have been on our London Finance Walking Tour, or are hoping to in the future, you may just catch a glimpse of the home and office of Andrew Parmley, as it is located opposite the Bank of England- one of the stops on our tour.
But the above duties will only begin once the Lord Mayor has been sworn into office during the Silent Ceremony, held in the heart of Square Mile at the Guildhall. Apart from the vow read out by the Lord Mayor, the entire ceremony is completed in utter silence. The following day marks the beginning of the annual Lord Mayor’s Show. This begins with a procession, which covers a three and a half mile stretch between Bank and Aldwych. Although the route has been changed over the years, this procession is a direct descendant of the first journey to Westminster and with the stage coach reaching almost 350 years old, this activity can be seen as an excellent mix of London’s exciting, past, present and future.