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

Latest London news

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Planned Tube strikes have been called off as talks continue (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

The Tube strikes planned for September 8 and September 10 have been called off by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Waterloo passengers face severe delays this morning (Picture: Getty)

Waterloo commuters will have to deal with ‘major delays’ until 4pm today after a signalling problem between Wimbledon and Earlsfield.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Two teenagers were stabbed in a knife fight in George Lane, South Woodford, last night.

A knife fight in George Lane, South Woodford, last night left two teenagers in hospital with serious stab wounds.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The child and man were found dead in Colville Square, Notting Hill

A mother from Notting Hill has denied murdering her boyfriend and four-year-old daughter at their west London home.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Do you recognise this man? (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Detectives are looking for the man in this CCTV picture after a man was viciously attacked with a belt on Brick Lane.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more