The Lord Mayor's Show 2023: what is it, history, road closures, travel information - and disruptions
Some half a million people are expected to line the streets this year
This weekend (11 November) sees the return of the annual Lord Mayor's Show, an extravagant,three-mile procession that features thousands of participants, including floats, marching bands and the iconic gold State Coach.
The occasion marks the induction of the new Lord Mayor of the City of London. Visitors can also enjoy a plethora of creative costumes during the day, showcasing key moments in London's history, ranging from the Black Death to the Blitz.
Some half a million people are expected to line the streets this year, as the procession journeys from Mansion House to the Royal Courts via St Paul’s Cheapside and Fleet Street. Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is the Lord Mayor's Show?
The Lord Mayor's Show traces its roots back to 1215, when King John granted the citizens of London the right to elect their mayor. Since then, the event has evolved into a grand procession and a symbol of civic pride, and is one of the oldest and most traditional events in the city's calendar.
The show takes place annually on the second Saturday of November, marking the inauguration of the new Lord Mayor of the City of London. The newly appointed mayor travels from the City of London to Westminster to pledge allegiance to the reigning monarch.
The show is not just a celebration of the incoming Lord Mayor but also a display of the city's rich history and traditions., and the highlight of the Lord Mayor's Show is the procession that winds its way through the streets of London.
Elaborate floats, marching bands and military units contribute to the festive atmosphere, creating a visual spectacle that captivates both locals and visitors.
Apart from the procession, the Lord Mayor's Show includes a plethora of events and activities, and typically kicks off with a river pageant on the Thames featuring a flotilla of boats and vessels. The day also incorporates traditional elements such as the Lord Mayor's Banquet and a fireworks display that lights up the night sky.
Throughout its long history, the Lord Mayor's Show has undergone various transformations, but has weathered political changes, social shifts and even the challenges posed by modernity. It remains a symbol of continuity and resilience, and has adapted to the times while preserving its core essence - honouring civic leadership and celebrating the spirit of London.
Where is it taking place?
The route, which has been modified over the years, traditionally includes landmarks like Mansion House, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Royal Courts of Justice.
The procession extends well beyond the route, ensuring continuous activity from any vantage point. The ideal locations to choose depend on your preference for crowds and other activities you might want to engage in during the day.
For more information on good vantage points, head to lordmayorsshow.london/practicalities/where-to-go.
What disruption is expected?
The Lord Mayor's Show involves the closure of the entire City area for the majority of the day, with no traffic allowed. Buses follow diversions during the event, and parking spaces are suspended from Friday afternoon. The aim is to reopen roads as early as feasible, typically around 4pm.
During the 2023 Lord Mayor's Show, the District, Circle, and Jubilee lines will be closed until 3pm. However, the Northern, Central and Elizabeth lines will remain operational throughout the day. For more information and alternative routes, access the TfL journey planner.