11-year old Pearly Queen of Hoxton crowned

14:04 08 May 2012

Lower left, Mia Vallely aged 11 who was crowned the Pearly Queen of Hoxton on Sunday.

With her 8-year old sister Ella who was crowned the Pearly Princess of City of London and their mum Vanessa Vallely, who took on the title Pearly Queen City of London which was passed on by her dad Victor Nutley, back right.

Lower left, Mia Vallely aged 11 who was crowned the Pearly Queen of Hoxton on Sunday. With her 8-year old sister Ella who was crowned the Pearly Princess of City of London and their mum Vanessa Vallely, who took on the title Pearly Queen City of London which was passed on by her dad Victor Nutley, back right.

Archant

An 11-year old was crowned Pearly Queen of Hoxton on Sunday, in the largest crowning of Pearly Kings and Queens in more than a century.

Mia Vallely became the fifth generation in her family to “wear buttons,” when she took on the title from her successful city businesswoman mother Vanessa, 39.

She in turn has become the Pearly Queen of the City of London, taking over from her father Victor Nutley.

The family which lives in Rayleigh, Essex are related to George Hitchens, one of the original Pearlies.

Before the ceremony in in Tower Hamlets’ pub, The Carpenters Arms, swarms of press photographers and well-wishers gathered around.

In all nine Pearlies wearing hand-sewn suits and royal robes took on the inherited titles during the coronation ceremony, and Father Rob Wickham from St John in Hackney Church came along to bless them.

“The crowning is to introduce young Pearlies into the tradition,” said Pearly Queen of Hackney, 71-year old Jackie Murphy.

“It’s not only a London tradition but a family tradition, they are born into it and are used to it from a very early age, it’s in their blood and something we are all proud of, and apart from that we do a lot of charity work.

“It’s something we’ve kept going for 150 years, it’s nice to see the youngsters carrying it on.

“When they get in their teenage years sometimes they think, “I don’t want to do that,” but they come back into it.

“The day was wonderful, we had such a lot of good write ups from the press and television, it gives us recognition in what we do, it was a lovely day and something the children will remember for years.”

Orphan Henry Croft, the original Pearly King founded the movement in 1875, as a way to raise money.

He got the idea for the decoration of Pearly outfits after working alongside fruit sellers who festooned their suits with buttons down the sides of the legs and on the waistcoat and cap.

He became an attraction and used his popularity to collect money for his old orphanage.

Other charities called on him to help raise funds for them, and so he asked the market traders to help him - and the Pearly Kings and Queens were born, with a Pearly family created in each of the London boroughs.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

More Quirky London

Monday, June 1, 2015
[Photo David Fortune]

A giant dinosaur resembling a T-Rex has been seen lying under what looks like a bloodstained blanket. The extinct reptile was noticed around 10am Monday in south London.

Friday, May 29, 2015
[Photo Assemble and Simon Terrill]

The new sculpture playground is Brutalist - it is based on concrete playgrounds from the 1950s and 60s - but is made from reconstituted foam.

Thursday, May 28, 2015
(Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A London artist has started a campaign for an anti-Margaret Thatcher museum in an attempt to “reclaim” her legacy from “sycophants” like David Cameron and Tony Blair.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
An artist's impression of how the slide will look

Although the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower is a pretty distinctive site in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Londoners haven’t really taken it into their hearts in the same way we have Tower Bridge, the Gherikin, or even the Shard - but that could be about to change with plans to turn it into a giant helter-skelter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
The Mr Men in London book will be available from June 4th

The Mr Men will become Londoners on June 4 when a new book featuring them on a Big Smoke day trip is published.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
(Tony Kershaw / SWNS.com)

Britain’s grumpiest tree has been spotted growing in Blackheath Park in Greenwich, south east London.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

Read more
The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more