In the City of London the Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of the City of London (commonly The Lord Mayor of London) is second only to the Sovereign in position, place and precedence. He or she is a non-partisan officer elected from and by the Aldermen of the City of London, candidates first having been approved by the senior members of the City’s 110 Livery Companies. The Lord Mayor serves a single term of office lasting one year and must previously have served a one year term of office as a Sheriff of the City of London.
The office of The Lord Mayor is unsalaried and those who achieve the estate and dignity of that office are expected to contribute toward the considerable costs of their mayoralty. The first recoded Mayor took office in 1189, the title Lord Mayor becoming customary after 1354.
The Lord Mayor should never be confused with the Mayor of London, a politician elected by the residents of the London Boroughs and responsible for strategic governance across the greater London area. In point of fact there are two ‘Lord Mayors’ within the Greater London area, one in the City of London and the other in the City of Westminster. Each of the other 31 London Boroughs also has a Mayor (though not a Lord Mayor) and then of course there is the Mayor of London. That means London has a total of 32 ‘Mayors’ and 2 ‘Lord Mayors’.
The Lord Mayor is representative of the UK financial services industry in general and the City in particular. The Lord Mayor is head of The City of London Corporation and a spokesperson for the City’s 110 Livery Companies and those Guilds or City Companies without Livery status seeking to become Livery Companies. The Lord Mayor is invariably a member of one or more Livery Companies.
The Lord Mayor is inter alia The Admiral of the Port of London, Chancellor of the City University, President of the City Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, a member of the Court of The Honourable Artillery Company, President of Gresham College, the Chairman of the Commission of Lieutenancy for the City, Chief Magistrate and President of the City of London Bowls Club.
During his or her terms of office the Lord Mayor resides in The Mansion House, a purpose built focal point for entertainment and ceremonial with accommodation for the Lord Mayor and family. Whilst the Mansion House forms a base for the Lord Mayor, he or she will typically spend 100 days overseas during their year in office.
Tours of The Mansion House are run every month, you can learn more about the Mansion House, its day to day use and the tours by listening to this audio recording by The Keeper of Walbrook Hall.