Search

London’s cockney Pearly kings and queens set for a May 6 ‘coronation’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 April 2012

Descendants of one of the original London Pearly families, the Hitchens, are being ‘crowned’ as the next generation of Pearly kings and queens in the East End’s favourite cockney tradition.

The ‘coronation’ takes place on May 6 in ‘the Pearly church’ of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, the largest event of its kind in 100 years.

The blessing is followed by a good old cockney knees-up with music from The Barrow Boys staged at Bethnal Green’s Carpenter’s Arms, a classic East End boozer, to welcome family and friends of the new ‘royalty’.

Their chosen manor stretches from the City of London at Aldgate, out to Mile End and the Bow Bridge.

London has 28 families who constituted the original Pearly kings and queens, one in each of the former Metropolitan boroughs that now make up today’s Inner London—the titles are inherited.

Pearly kings and queens wear their iconic suits hand-sewn with hundreds of pearl buttons which are worn to raise money for charity, following the footsteps of their founder Henry Croft, an East End costermonger born 150 years ago who spent a lifetime helping the poor.

Croft was raised in a Victorian workhouse orphanage in St Pancras who began work at 13 in the street markets among costermongers, or apple sellers, and became fascinated by their ‘flash boy’ suits decorated with penny-sized pearl buttons.

It led to the famous tradition of London’s Pearly kings and queens who are out in force on May 6 for the ‘cockney coronation.’

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 16:54

A call for the chair of the controversial Island Heath Trust to resign has been made publicly by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Yesterday, 14:49

A call for more drastic measures to stop acid attacks than the government is prepared to undertake has been made in a joint campaign by both the Mayor of Tower Hamlets and East Ham’s MP.

Yesterday, 12:29

Police have released CCTV footage which shows a burglary suspect trying to kick in the front door of a property on the Isle of Dogs.

Yesterday, 11:46

A mother has been attacked in front of her children after experiencing a torrent of racial abuse on a Tube train.

Yesterday, 09:07

Rubbish is on the mayor of Tower Hamlets’ agenda to sort out what happens to the weekly council bin collections.

Yesterday, 08:00

Catfish and the Bottlemen are the final headline act to be announced for the new All Points East festival in Victoria Park this summer.

Mon, 17:53

Dashing to the top of this 42-storey City tower could help nearly 2,000 families registered homeless in Tower Hamlets who are in temporary accommodation.

Mon, 16:09

A Poplar seaman’s charity has received surplus food from a supermarket chain to help feed those in need.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now