It has been 70 years since The Queen received the Admission to the Freedom of the Drapers’ Company, and the milestone will be marked with a special lunch attended by the royal.
Her Majesty, the Drapers’ Company’s most illustrious Freeman, will visit Drapers’ Hall on Wednesday to take part in the special occasion. She will be welcomed by Sir David Wootton, 684th Lord Mayor of London and will meet members of the Court of Assistants, which is the governing body of the company, including the Master and Wardens.
The lunch will be followed by a ceremony which will see the monarch sign the Instrument, a document recording the special event. She will also meet pupils from the Drapers’ Maylands School before the visit ends.
The Drapers’ Company, one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies in the City of London, was formed as a trade association of wool and cloth merchants in 1361. It received a Royal Charter three years later and went on to become one of the most prestigious and powerful entities in London.
Although cloth trade has ceased, the company still works to inspire young people to pursue education opportunities. It also helps organisations looking after the most vulnerable, the elderly and homeless people.
On 20 May 1947, the then-Princess Elizabeth was made Free of the Company by patrimony after her father, who was the Duke of York at the time, had become a Draper in 1919.
The Queen has visited the hall several times over the years. Last year, she hosted a private party for family and friends as a get-together before heading off for her summer break in Balmoral. During the visit, which came shortly after her 90th birthday, she joked that “how I will feel if people are still singing Happy Birthday to me in December remains to be seen.”
Among the other distinguished members of the company are the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Gloucester.