Election of Lord Mayor 2020

The annual election of the Lord Mayor, traditionally held on 29 September (Michaelmas) is usually a big event held in the Guildhall. The Aldermen and their beadles, as well as all of the Masters of the Worshipful companies process in full regalia. Many of us have attended in the past, even if relegated to the Old Library and seeing it all on the big screen.

It had already been decided that the Lord Mayor elected in September 2019, the Right Honourable William Russell, would serve a second term. But a formal election - rather than a re-election - was still needed on 29 September 2020. How then to adapt this ancient and important election ceremony to meet Covid rules and yet to represent something which resembled the customary procedure?

Since the liverymen are essentially the electors, a representative from each company was sought. I was privileged to be present on behalf of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers. We were all given staggered arrival times, and then seated on very socially distanced chairs in the Guildhall. I was placed directly underneath our shield on the edge of the vaulted roof of the Guildhall. By pure accident, of course, but it was a good experience none the less. Next to me was a doctoral student representing the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers. 

It was sad to see no robes were being worn, and no wigs. No large fur hat for the Lord Mayor's Sword bearer, alas. The ceremony was pared down to the minimum but the essential elements were all there. There were three candidates as usual, and we were expected to make the usual cries. We were not very voluble and ended up having to do it again! But it was none the less reassuring to know that even in difficult times the City can adapt yet retain its traditions, which link past, present and future. 


Last modified on Monday, 08 March 2021 20:04