Twice a year, the City of London Corporation’s Common Hall is transformed from a standard local authority meeting on civic issues, into a day of great ceremony. Each autumn Liverymen elect the next year’s Lord Mayor and every summer, it’s the turn of the two Sheriffs. The Shrieval election ceremony starts at noon (There is no admission after 11.45am.) and ends around 12.30-12.45pm. Dress is lounge suit for men and smart day wear for ladies.
After Common Hall, most Liveries go home, but our Master always hosts a private Reception and Lunch. We go up to Guildhall’s roof terrace on the fourth floor for the Reception and then into the Aldermen’s Dining Room for lunch. The day is very much one for partners and guests too.
This year, as an extra, it has been possible to secure some places at the annual Armed Forces Flag Raising in Guildhall Yard. For those who would like to stay on to see it, this takes place at 3.15pm, lasts about 30 minutes, and is rather a nice sign of respect for our military from the City.
Common Hall and the Flag Raising are free, and this year the Lunch costs £75. The Dining Room only holds 28 guests, so places will have to be allocated on as first-come-first-served basis.