The wealth in Britain's most archaic local authority went on parade Saturday as the annual Lord Mayor's Show wound through the City of London.
Lord Mayor Sir Christopher Collett rode in a gilded coach drawn by white horses from Guildhall to the Law Courts, where he was sworn in as the City of London's 661st mayor and his one-year term began.Next year marks the 800th anniversary of the mayoralty of the 1-square-mile core of the British capital, an enclave known as the City of London, and celebrations are planned beginning in January.
Behind the lord mayor on the 2-mile parade route was a pageant of floats illustrating the wealth of his domain, which is the financial heart of the country. Two-legged telephones, a Wells Fargo stage coach trailing dancing girls and Indians, future astronauts and marching bands were among the parade's 146 participants.
The City of London is home to some of the world's financial giants. Banks and insurance companies cluster around the Bank of England, and the Stock Exchange is not far away. Lloyd's of London, celebrating its 300th anniversary this year, is a short walk from commodity markets and shipping brokers.
Collett, 57, is a senior member of the international accounting firm Arthur Young, but it was being a glover that allowed him to ascend to the mayoralty. All lord mayors must be a member of a livery, companies that are survivors of the medieval craft guilds. Collett's family members have been glovers for generations.
In the course of his yearlong tenure, Collett will attend more than 1,000 banquets, dinners and receptions, listen to at least 1,500 speeches and make more than 500 of his own. He will live at the elegant Mansion House. Collett succeeds Sir Greville Spratt.