Procession

The Lord Mayor's Procession fills the whole area between Mansion House and the Royal Courts of Justice in Aldwych. It travels out via St Paul's between 11am and 12.30, and returns by the embankment between 1pm and 2.30.

The head of the procession leaves Mansion House at 11am sharp (unless the Show is on the weekend of Armistice Day, in which case it will begin with a 2 minute silence). Close to the front you will see the looming wicker figures of Gog and Magog. Behind them the procession is gradually being zipped together from three moving streams to create a single broad parade that will take over an hour to pass you.

After about 45 minutes the State Coach leaves Guildhall and travels round to Mansion House to pick up the new Lord Mayor. It joins the procession near the back - over an hour behind the first float - and goes with it to St Paul's, where the Lord Mayor and his officials will pause to receive a blessing. After a few minutes it continues down Ludgate Hill and Fleet Street to the Royal Courts.

While the new Lord Mayor gives her oath of loyalty to the Crown, the Pageantmaster is folding and squashing the procession into the side streets around Aldwych, and feeding and watering thousands of people and hundreds of horses. They gradually reform near Victoria Embankment, and the procession sets off again at 1pm. The state coach will finally return the Lord Mayor to Mansion House some time between 2 and 2.30, depending on the length of the procession.

After the procession you will find London's City Guides on hand to lead free guided tours of the City's more strange and wonderful corners, then in the evening the Lord Mayor's Fireworks will light up the sky over over the river.

The details of each year's Show are released upon the election of the new Lord Mayor, which happens at the beginning of October. Until then we can't tell you exactly what the floats, bands, costumes, constructions, regiments will be. There are always surprises every year. We can tell you that it is the longest, grandest, most meticulously organised procession in the world. There is no way to rehearse a three mile procession in the middle of the City of London, so it's all put together on the day and if you want to find out how well those three miles fit into a 1.7 mile route, you'll have to come along and see!