Pearly Kings and Queens

Blow Out (and about) // Doing the Lambeth Walk (oi!) with actual Pearly Kings and Queens

We at Le Blow are kind of fascinated by Pearly Kings and Queens, though we’ve never been in close proximity to a real life one. And besides; the monochromatic, decadent look of the Pearly style is totally on trend this season.

What: The London Pearly Kings & Queens Society Costermongers Harvest Festival Parade Service
When: Sunday 30th September, starting at 1pm with traditional entertainment before a parade down to St Mary-le-Bow Church for the service at 3pm
Where: Guildhall Yard, London EC2
Getting there: Nearest tube – St Paul’s

Pearly Kings and Queens

If you don’t know what Pearlies are (and nope, it’s not some kind of perverse sex move, you filthy swine), they’re an organised charitable tradition of working class culture in London. And no, we didn’t get that from Wikepedia (yeah, we totes did).

The tradition began 150 years ago as a way to raise money in London town – with a dollop of cockney cheer, natch.

Henry Croft was the original Pearly King (and founder of the movement) who was an orphaned street sweeper. Sob!

He got the inspo for Pearly outfits after working alongside apple sellers who blinged up their black suits with white buttons. He designed one for himself and became quite the attraction, using his new found sleb status to collect money for his old orphanage. N’aww.

Soon, other charities were calling on him to help raise funds, so he asked the market traders to help him – and lo and behold! The Pearly Kings and Queens were born.

Pearly Kings and Queen

The Harvest Festival is their flagship event with all the Kings and Queens decked out in their shiniest and most elaborate clobber. YESSSSS.

There’ll be loadsa colourful characters there – think mayors, donkeys and carts, marching bands and of course the Pearly Royalty themselves en masse.

The event itself is FREE but all donations go towards the Whitechapel Mission. Plus, just THINK of all the AMAZE photo/Instagramming opportunities.


For more info, visit:

  • Comments

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    Might head down to this today, looks like there could be some cool photography fodder there. Thanks Le Blow, you’re the bestest!!! xx

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