It was a great honour to host our Royal Charter Banquet with my husband, Bob. Before the formal proceedings began, it was my pleasure to present our Assistant Clerk, Cheryl Reid with her beautiful Badge of office. Both Cheryl and our Clerk, Phil Gibbs, worked incredibly hard to ensure our Banquet would be a great success and so it was especially fitting to present Cheryl with her badge in the Mansion House, directly in front of the Royal Charter itself.

The evening started with a photography session, and it was a privilege to share this special evening with my fellow Wardens; we all felt incredibly proud of the Architects’ Company as we stood beside our Royal Charter.

Our Clerk and the Rt Hon Lord Mayor of London, Alderman William Russell, received HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG, GCVO, GCStJ, as he arrived at the Mansion House and was introduced to the guests. The Wardens and their Consorts (Upper Warden Philip Cooper and his wife Caroline, Renter Warden Chris Dyson and his wife Sarah, and Junior Warden Dr Start LenSage and his wife Pippa); two of the Master’s daughters, Anna and Chantelle Le Vaillant, plus Ryan Davis, formed a gracious receiving line.
We were privileged to that Sheriff Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli and Mrs Mainelli, as well as Sheriff Christopher Hayward CC and Mrs Hayward attended the Banquet. They are both shown below with Deputy Master Stephen Wagstaffe and Mrs Deirdre Wagstaffe.

We were also delighted that a number of other special guests were able to join us for the evening, including: Master Carpenter, Lord and Lady Flight; Master Mason, Mr Chris Radmore and Mrs Radmore; Master Tyler and Bricklayer, Dr Michel Saminaden and Mrs Saminden; Master Constructor, Sir Vivian Ramsey and Lady Ramsey; Master Water Conservator, Mr Mark Lane and Ms West; Master Painter-Stainer, Mr Peter Huddleston and Mrs Huddleston; Deputy Master Trinity House, Captain Ian McNaught CVO and Mr Keith and Mrs Jane Lawrey.

The Orpington Sea Cadets paraded on the night and looked almost as splendid in their uniforms as the men of the Honourable Royal Artillery Company. Bob had a full career in the Army and was pleased to present each of the Cadets with a Conductor’s badge, as a special memento of a very special occasion

S. Whirlwind – The Orpington Sea Cadet Corps

At the Installation Court in September 2011 the Company formally approved a link with Orpington Sea Cadets and the unit paraded for its first Carpet Guard at the Company Banquet the 26th March 2012. Since then the cadets have performed the same duty at all our subsequent banquets and dinners, plus assisting at most of the annual carol services at St Lawrence Jewry

Our Beadle, David Wylie, proudly led the procession into the Egyptian Hall, between a Guard formed by members of The Company of Pikemen & Musketeers, HAC

The Company of Pikemen & Musketeers is a ceremonial unit of the Honourable Artillery Company (‘the HAC’), the oldest regiment in the British Army, which traces its origins back to a charter granted by King Henry VIII in 1537. The Pikemen & Musketeers are dressed and equipped as members of the Company would have been in the 1640s. Governed by a Royal Warrant, it is tasked with providing a ceremonial bodyguard for the Lord Mayor of the City of London when on official business. This includes escorting his State Coach during the Lord Mayor’s Show and carpet guards for state banquets and other dinners at Guildhall and Mansion House. The Company also provides guards for dinners at livery companies, at Armoury House, headquarters of the Honourable Artillery Company and provides displays of 17th century arms drill both at home and overseas. Only veteran members of the HAC’s Army Reserve regiment with proven efficient service are eligible to join the Company.

Before dinner was served, a witty and poetic Grace was said by Reverend Canon David Parrott, Honorary Chaplain to the Company. Later during the evening, we were treated to a beautiful performance of a sung Grace, taken from the Laudi  Spirituali  (AD 1545), and composed by Ann Purves, wife  of Past Master Geoffrey Purves. The Sung Grace was performed to the new setting, by Ann Purves, Jonathan Louth, Camilla Harries and Nicholas Harries.

For these and all thy mercies given,

We bless and praise Thy name o Lord:

May we receive them with thanksgiving,

Ever trusting in thy word;

To Thee alone be honour, glory,

Now and henceforth for evermore, Amen.

Most of the evening’s music was performed by Elysium Brass and their programme included:

  • It is for me a Right Great Joy – Henry VIII (from Suite: Rose Without a Thorn)
  • Killer Tango – Sonny Kompanek
  • A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square – Maschwitz/Sherwin


At the presentation of the Royal Charter, the Elysium Brass played the Temple Bar Fanfare, arranged by them from a composition by Elgar Howarth for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 and was played at the Temple Bar in Fleet Street as she entered the City of London.


Elysium Brass is an award-winning brass quintet formed from alumni of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Established in 2013, Elysium Brass were the Guildhall winners of the June Emerson Wind Music Launchpad Competition 2015. Elysium Brass maintain a diverse performance schedule of recitals, banquets and VIP events in venues such as The Barbican Centre, The Guildhall, Milton Court Concert Hall, Inner Temple Hall, Trinity House, Mansion House, Haberdashers Hall, Skinners Hall and Drapers Hall.


The Mansion House caterers served a wonderful menu on the night:



Treacle cured salmon, mandarin, dill cream, candy beetroot, Avruga caviar, compressed cucumber, beetroot pickled quail egg.


Beef fillet crusted with peanut & pistachio, cottage pie croquette, butternut squash puree, tender stem broccoli, king oyster mushroom, wilted red shard, rosemary jus.


Caramelised apple, hazelnut & mascarpone tart, compressed apple, financier cake, apple & calvados sauce

Coffee and Petit Fours



Le Pionnier Blanc, France, 2017

Le Pionnier Rouge, France, 2017 

Taylor’s Late-Bottled Vintage Port, Portugal, 2012

There was then a series of interesting speeches and our glasses were raised in a series of Toasts:








Proposed by THE MASTER




Proposed by the UPPER WARDEN, Philip Cooper 

Response by



Response by THE MASTER 


Proposed by THE MASTER


Response by



who then, preceded by a rendition of the Temple Bar Fanfare,

presented the Royal Charter,

responded to the Toast to the Guests and proposed a Toast to: 


The Royal Charter Banquet was a memorable evening and a very special occasion in the life of our Company. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Past Masters David Cole Adams, Richard Brindley and Barry Munday, supported by our special guest Mr Keith Lawrey, who all worked tirelessly and over many years, to make our case as worthy recipients of a Royal Charter. 


Heartfelt thanks are also extended to Past Master Barry Munday and his wife Jane, who paid for the Charter to be beautifully framed and it will, of course, shortly be hung in pride of place in our new home, Temple Bar.





The Duke of Gloucester was born on 26th August 1944 in Northampton. He is the second Son of the late Prince Henry Duke of Gloucester and the late Princess Alice and is grandson of George V and a first cousin to The Queen. He became heir to his father’s titles following the death of his elder brother, Prince William of Gloucester in 1972. Prince Richard was educated at home, before going to school at Wellesley House, Broadstairs, and Eton. In 1963, he went on to Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read architecture. After completing his training, he went into practice as a partner in a firm of London architects. However, after becoming his father’s heir he took on increased royal duties and responsibility for the family estate at Barnwell, Northamptonshire, and therefore resigned his partnership.


Following his father, he is Grand Prior of the Order of St John, the international charity. The Duke of Gloucester also carries out many ceremonial and official duties. Some are related to architecture, construction and conservation, in which he is still deeply interested. He was elected a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1972 and he is Royal Patron of the British Museum. The Duke is also President of several architectural preservation societies, including the Victorian Society and National Churches Trust. He is also Patron of the International Council on Monuments and Sites – UK, the Heritage of London Trust, and the Global Heritage Fund, among others. In 2007 he was appointed Chancellor of the University of Worcester.



The Home and Office of the Lord Mayor of London. This unique building provides a spectacular setting for business meetings, civic and livery activity, and conferences. Charitable and business-related organisations also use Mansion House for fundraising events, receptions and dinners. A number of high-profile events are held each year which provide a platform for cabinet ministers, visiting Heads of Government, and other prominent public figures. Some 50,000 people visit the Mansion House every year.​​ Today Mansion House is also home to a magnificent plate collection and an art collection including sculptures and the 84 Dutch paintings of the Harold Samuel Art Collection.

Until the mid-18th century, Lord Mayors used their own houses or livery halls for their work as head of the City’s governmental, judicial and civic functions. The idea of creating a permanent residence came after the Great Fire of 1666 to provide a house for Lord Mayors who did not have their own livery hall. But it was almost three quarters of a century later that the architect and Clerk of the City’s Work, George Dance the Elder, was chosen to design and build Mansion House. The first stone was laid in 1739 but it was not until 1752 that Lord Mayor Sir Crispin Gascoigne was able to take up residence there. Work was completed in 1758.

Imposingly Palladian in style, it is faced by a grand temple portico at the front approached by flights of steps each side. The entertaining rooms were built on the first and second floors. The first floor had a roofless courtyard (later covered to form the Salon, the entertainment space) and the great Egyptian Hall. The second floor has a ballroom and private apartments of the Lord Mayor and family. The third and fourth floors contain meeting rooms and staff rooms. The cellars have storage space and once held prisoners’ cells, reflecting the former use of the Mansion House as the Lord Mayor’s Court.

While the Mansion House retains much of its original character, there have been changes. Some 50 years later, two large roof pavilions were found to be unsafe. Dance’s son, George Dance the Younger, removed one in 1795. The other was removed in 1846, and at the same time, the main entrance to the house was moved round the side, after various road works narrowed the esplanade up the steps at the front. There were refurbishments in the 1860s, and 1930s, and again in the early 90s.