Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Lunch with the Lady Mayoress of London, Lady Lin Luder

I had a fabulous lunch on Sunday with the Lady Mayoress of London, Lady Lin Luder, and several influential women from the Kuwait community (Brits and Kuwaitis). It was held at Ricardo. I was the only American and it was quite an honor. I knew several of the ladies, but hadn’t seen them for quite a while, so it was great to catch up. (No, she didn't wear this at the lunch. I would have died of embarrassment for not being adequately dressed.)

I had to ask if I needed to take a course in how to curtsy prior to the day. I didn’t – I don’t know if I could have dealt with it – too much formality for me. I’m certain I would have done it wrong.

I didn't have to learn Briddish either! I have mastered that from being around friend from the UK (Scotland doesn't count!) long enough to understand them. (Ok, that is just a shout-out to all my American friends!)

Ignorant American

First of all, when my friend at the British Embassy (who shall remain nick-nameless for her own sake!) called me and told me about the Lady’s visit, I thought the woman’s name was “Mariss” – a name that I like. I thought it was pretty. But then, I immediately got off the phone and googled her (don’t laugh – I google everyone). I hate not being prepared.

But alas..... I am stupid. I should have brought my digital recorder. I wish I could remember everything that Lady Luder told us at the lunch. It was fascinating. I honestly didn’t want the lunch to end; I had such a great time.

Interesting factoids

Lord Mayor of London (from LINK): “During his year of office he travels the world as an ambassador for the business City, promoting it as the world's leading international financial centre and boosting the profile of British business at home and abroad. The Lord Mayor is well placed to establish valuable contacts both at diplomatic and top boardroom level. These contacts open up business opportunities in the City and help maintain London's position as the world's leading international financial centre.”

It takes 15 years to become Lord Mayor of London and there is extensive training involved.
You don’t have to be a male, but you retain the title of “Lord Mayor”.
A person must first be an Alderman to become Lord Mayor and are typically either lawyers or accountants.Lord Mayor of London is an elected position.
The role lasts for 1 year
Lord Mayor is not a salaried position.
During the 1 year tenure, the Lord and Lady (which would be hard to figure out if the Lord was a woman) live at the Mansion House.

The Lord and Lady are both asked to select charities
During their tenure they have no time for family events – too busy and are expected to be on duty throughout the year. Lady Luder said that she only has a few minutes once a week to check on her home, but once she’s there, she feels content as it is hers.
There has been a Lord Mayor of London ever since 1189.
The Lord Mayor’s Show is a procession (parade) held in November each year and has been the same journey for almost 800 years. I wanna goooo!
Get this – folks from our own US Civil War (although a Confederate) were invited to dine with the Mayor of London (an abolitionist). That’s deep. And now, we have a black president.

Lady Luder was delightful. I didn’t know what to expect but she was so approachable and down-to-Earth. She is obviously a diplomat, but I had a feeling that under her exterior, she is my kind of people. From one of the more colorful stories on Google, I would definitely say she is!

We asked Lady Luder what the best part was of being Lady Mayoress of London. She said, “Getting to see my husband in the golden cage.” I (and some of the other ladies from the giggles) believed that to mean the golden cage of marriage. Noooo…. The ceremonial golden cage of the Lord Mayors Show. Lady Luder said it is enormous and drawn by 8 horses.

Lin Luder formerly worked in IT at a New York law firm. She said that she and her husband will probably take 2 months off when the new Lord Mayor of London is sworn in (I don’t know if that is the appropriate term) and then go back to work.

Lord and Lady Luder were invited to attend a dinner with His Highness The Amir in the evening. What a wonderful job – even if it is tiring.

I continue to thank God for blessing me with the types of adventures He does; and for the types of interesting people I get to meet in my life.

A special word of thanks to my friend at the British Embassy (you know who you are) for inviting me. I wish there were many more like you in Kuwait! You are so positive and just a true pleasure to be around.


Anonymous said...

lollers at the Daily Mail article on the Lady Mayoress!

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 10:29 - I know, I checked it out too and it was hilarous. She's my kinda girl!