The Lord Mayors coach, weighing 4 tons and pulled by six horses was built in 1757 and was painted by the famous Florentine painter Giovanni Cipriani. A body guard of Pikemen and Musketeers march beside the coach. Many people in the procession wear traditional historic costumes. Each year a theme relating to London life or history is chosen and floats decorated with tableaux on this theme precede the Lord Mayors coach. The Lord Mayor who is also the Citys Chief Magistrate, is selected by the liverymen of the City Companies (guilds). One of the most distinguished of Londons Lord Mayors was Dick Whittington (1423) who held office four times. After the oath has been taken, the entire procession returns via Victoria Embankment to the original point of departure.
On the following Monday evening the Lord Mayer gives a splendid Inaugural banquet at Guildhall. This has two traditions a first course of turtle soup and speech from the Prime minister.
This glittering occasion is attended by many of the most prominent people in the country and is usually televised. The Prime Minister delivers a major political speech and the toast of the hosts on behalf of the quests is proposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Half the cost of the Show and Banquet is paid by the Mayor and the other half is met by the two Sheriffs. One can imagine how high the costs are but a Lord Mayor regards such financial sacrifices as worth while because of the prestige, since in his year of office he is second in importance in the City only to the Sovereign. The official residence of the Lord Mayor in Mansion House, which was designed in Palladian style in the 18th century, but has been altered since. The Guildhall, dating from the 15th century is the place where the Lord Mayor, Alderman and the City fathers conduct the Citys affairs. Important banquets and ceremonial occasions are held there. The City has not only its own Mayor, but also its own government and its own police force. Even the sovereign (Queen) has to stop at the Citys frontiers until the Lord Mayor allows admittance.
Remembrance Day. (Poppy Day)
Remembrance Day is observed throughout Britain in commemoration of the million or more British soldiers and airmen who lost their lives during the two World Wars. On that day, the second Sunday in November, special services are held in the churches and wreaths are laid at war memorials throughout the country and at Londons Cenotaph, where a great number of people gather to observe the two minute silence and to perform the annual Remembrance Day ceremony. The silence begins at the first stroke of Big Ben 11 oclock, and is broken only by the crash of distant artillery and perhaps by the murmur of a passing jet. Members of the Royal Family or their representatives and political leaders come forward to lay wreaths at the foot of the Cenotaph. Then comes the march past the memorial of ex-servicemen and women, followed by an endless line of ordinary citizens who have come here with their personal wreaths and their sad memories.
On that day artificial poppies, a symbol of mourning, are traditionally sold in the streets everywhere, and people wear them in their buttonholes. The money collected in this way is later used to help the men who had been crippled during the war and their dependants.
In the past the day was known as Armistice Day and was marked on the 11 of November, as that was the day when armistice (agreement to stop military actions) sought by German from Allies, came into force in 1918. Armistice Day was kept since 1919 1938. Two minutes silence was observed throughout the British Commonwealth starting at 11 a. m. the ceremony lapsed during the second World War, but was resumed in 1945. The following year it was decided to observe a Remembrance Day for both World Wars. It was to be held annually on Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday in November). The most magnificent ceremony is held at the Cenotaph in London, a memorial to those who died during the two world wars. On Remembrance Day the ceremony is attended by the Queen and royal family, statesmen and politicians, representatives of the armed forces and Commonwealth.
N. M. Nesterova “Regional Geography orarea studies”
T. Khimunina, N. Konon, L. Walshe “Customs, Traditions and Festivals of Great Britain”
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