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Parade celebrates election of new Lord Mayor of London

11-11-2012 06:24 BJT

LONDON, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- The ancient, annual parade to mark the election of a new Lord Mayor of London took place through the streets of the British capital on Saturday.

The parade can trace its roots back nearly 700 years, and this year featured a procession which was 5.5 km long and took 90 minutes to pass any one point, and involved 6,500 people, 22 marching bands, 125 horses, a fighter jet and a steamroller.

The post of Lord Mayor of London, not to be confused with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson whose job covers the whole of Greater London, is elected by representatives from businesses, residents, and trade groups in the traditional City of London, a square mile area which is now a center of global finance to rank with New York.

The Lord Mayor of London's role is historic and ceremonial, but he is also a figurehead for the businesses and services based in London.

Most of the Lord Mayor's time in his one year in office will be spent on trade trips and promotion.

Roger Gifford, aged 57, the new Lord Mayor is the 685th mayor.

He said, "There's a lot to do; I am a banker and I have to persuade people that banking is a great business. There have been some dreadful mistakes in the City and a huge number of changes have happened."

Gifford, who has made his career at a Swedish bank, said the vast majority of banks and the "vast majority of bankers" are not involved in the parts of the business where there have been serious problems.

Police estimated the crowds were the largest seen for many years at more than 500,000 people, and the parade organizer said he believed it was a legacy of the London Olympic Games, which inspired people to come out and celebrate.

Dominic Reid, the pageantmaster (the ancient name for the parade organizer), said, "The whole mood is light and lifted, it is a lot of fun."

Gifford's day began with a revival of an ancient tradition, a procession down the River Thames in a gold-painted barge called Gloriana, from the center of British political power in Westminster to the area of the City of London.


Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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