Despite everything that modern city life can throw at it, the Lord Mayor’s Show hasn’t been interrupted since 1852, when it made way for the Duke of Wellington’s funeral.
The bombs of the blitz and later the IRA failed to halt the procession, and even the riots of 1830 had little effect. The Show has survived two bouts of the plague, the great fire of London and a particularly thunderous 1867 editorial in the Times which insisted that "The Show will vanish but the Banquet is safe".
The Show has occasionally had to adapt to its circumstances. In 1914 some 3000 troops from Britain and the Dominions marched with the procession, with the newspapers commenting that "it ought to prove more valuable than 100 best speeches".
The Show of 1915 was also a recruiting show. German prisoners of war and captured guns were paraded, and the procession was timed to coincide with 10 recruiting meetings as it passed. Men from the meetings fell in behind the Lord Mayor' Coach and marched away to war.
The route of the modern show was set in 1952, but occasionally has to be diverted around roadworks or construction. This too is nothing new. In 1676 the Court of Aldermen approved a change of route:
"The passage ... being now obstructed by the great quantities of stone laid there for the convenience of St Paul's Church."
Perhaps the biggest change in the pageantmaster's role in recent years comes from the stringent security requirements of a modern event. In 1761 the then Prime Minister - William Pitt - took part. His popularity was such that the crowds mobbed his carriage and kissed his horses. The current climate unfortunately makes a repetition unlikely. Among other things, every single one one of the 3,500 manholes and 197 vacant properties on the route will have been searched and sealed long before you get there on the day.