The following was written by our Immediate Past Master, Mary Hardy, and Master Michael Shapiro. You can find photos, taken by Arne Mielken at the foot of the page.
I was very honoured to be invited to witness the Approbation of the Lord Mayor Elect at the House of Lords on the morning of Monday 23rd October.
In the presence of the Sheriffs, the Court of Aldermen and a few personal guests, Alderman Professor and Past Master World Trader Michael Mainelli was introduced to the Lord Chancellor by the Recorder of the City of London who set out Michael’s illustrious career in great detail. The Lord Chancellor then replied confirming that the King had approved the choice made by the citizens of London for their next Lord Mayor.
The Recorder had noted that Michael will be the 695th Lord Mayor, and whereas Lord Chancellors would normally expect to take part in several of these Approbation ceremonies in their term of office, this had not been the case in the recent past. In his reply, the Lord Chancellor noted that there had been 695 Lord Mayors but only 139 Lord Chancellors although, as alluded to, they were making a concerted effort to catch up! The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Mayor Elect toasted each other in individual Loving Cups and sack (fortified wine) and shortbread was enjoyed by all to close the ceremony.
Before leaving the Lord Chancellor handed Michael his license to be Lord Mayor for one year. The Lord Mayor Elect was then whisked back to the City in a limousine, followed by the Sheriffs in the shrieval taxi and the Court of Aldermen on a bus!
Very special, very historic, quirkily British!
The Presentation Dinner of The Lord Mayor Elect took place during the evening at Carpenters’ Hall. As the Lord Mayor Elect’s mother Company, we host this dinner, with support from the other companies where Michael is an Honorary Liveryman. It was one of the few events that I have been to where no badges of office are worn.
Guests included a few members of each of Michael’s Companies, the two Sheriffs, members of the Court of Aldermen, the Principal Private Secretary to The King, the Town Clerk and Chief Executive of the City, Lady Usher of the Black Rod, the Recorder of London, the Common Serjeant, a number of judges, The Chamberlain, the Remembrancer and his Deputy, the Chief Commoner, the Permanent Secretary and Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, the Assistant Commissioner of the City of London Police, and personal guests of the Lord Mayor Elect. After receiving around 110 guests, we moved into the splendour of the banqueting hall, accompanied by Edward Dye on the piano. Some of our company silver was on show, interspersed with floral arrangements, and candelabras courtesy of the Carpenters.
After a delicious four course dinner, the Lord Mayor Elect proposed the toasts to The King and The Royal Family, and The Master proposed the toast to the Lord Mayor. We were then entertained by a group of Ukrainian musicians from The London Performing Academy of Music, who performed three pieces with their usual panache to tumultuous applause. Alderman Sir David Wootton proposed the toast to The Lord Mayor Elect and Lady Mayoress Designate in a witty, and at times serious, speech. It was clear how much research Sir David had done from the information he shared with us about Elisabeth and Michael’s respective childhoods and teenage years as well as their career paths, and Michael’s path to the Mayoralty. The Lord Mayor Elect responded, setting out his ideas and vision for his Mayoralty which has given us much to think about and look forward to.
After drinks in the reception room, the Hall Manager finally had his hall back. A wonderful start to our year as mother company.