The Lord Mayor of Southampton, Mrs Jacqui Rayment kindly invited the President and members of
the Southampton Solent Rotary to the Lord Mayor’s Parlour on Thursday 9th March 2023. 14
members of the Club attended at the Civic Centre and were welcomed by the Lord Mayor in her
Parlour where she gave us a short talk on the history of the Mayoralty.
When invested in May 2022, she became the 800th Mayor of Southampton. The day after her inauguration she received a call from Buckingham Palace to inform her she was elevated to Lord Mayor. There had been several requests over the years for this important upgrade as Southampton was awarded City status back in the 1960’s.
The Parlour is a thoughtfully furnished and decorated room, with a rich blue carpet, woven into the
centre of which is a magnificent Southampton crest.
The Lord Mayor gave us a tour around the room, showing us the cabinets containing the various city treasures such as the gold and silver Maces and describing their history. One in particular, was the Port of Southampton Admiral’s Mace.
It is the custom for the captain of a ship when making its maiden call to Southampton to wait upon
the Lord Mayor in her role as admiral of the Port and exchange plaques. In the adjacent gallery
there are many such plaques and much other memorabilia.
She also told us about the history of the various paintings in the Parlour and their background.
When redecorating the Parlour the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II had to be taken down. In doing so,
the apprentice on the ladder fell through an unknown trap door in the wall behind the picture!
Fortunately he was not seriously injured. The trap door led onto a hidden spiral staircase which led
up over the ceiling.
We then went into the Lord Mayor’s very comfortably furnished office where Royalty and other
dignitaries are received and sign a very special visitor’s book which we were allowed to inspect and
photograph. The book included several visits from HRH the Princess Royal.
At the end of the visit there was a general question and answer session whilst we enjoyed tea and