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Information Technologists parade Royal Charter

The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists took its new charter from the queen through the streets of London, preceded by men with musket and pike
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1 of 9 Rupert Goodwins/ZDNet

On Thursday evening, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists received its Royal Charter, granted by the queen, in St Paul's Cathedral.

The Company is the 100th London Livery Company — originally medieval guilds that regulated industries, they are now mostly social and charitable organisations. The Information Technologists' Company is particularly active in education and training, and this ceremony marks its full incorporation into that tradition.

After being bestowed in St Paul's Cathedral, the Charter was carried by the Company in a procession through rush hour traffic to a substantial banquet. Shiny helmets and big sticks were the order of the day, as traditionally garbed pikemen led the way. Follow ZDNet UK as it documents this uniquely British affair.

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2 of 9 Rupert Goodwins/ZDNet

The assembled VIPs and principal members of the Company as they prepare for the procession. The Royal Charter is carried in its beribboned box to the banquet, much as a pizza would be delivered, except that no moped or pizza is involved.

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3 of 9 Rupert Goodwins/ZDNet

A member of the Company discusses important affairs of IT while waiting for the procession: "Yes, a user has got past the perimeter. Have the muskets roundly pepper them with grape, then remove their access privileges with a rusty pike."

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4 of 9 Rupert Goodwins/ZDNet

The guard of honour muster prior to the procession. With a drum, a fife and plenty of pointy sticks, they present a fearsome barrier to anyone intent on testing the security of the Worshipful Company. Defence in depth is the watchword.

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5 of 9 Rupert Goodwins/ZDNet

Cycling in the city can be stressful and dangerous, and cyclists soon learn which hazards of the road demand particular attention. However, it is unknown whether this two-wheeled commuter is quite aware of what's about to overtake him.

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6 of 9 Rupert Goodwins/ZDNet

As the procession walks towards Bank from St Paul's, a distinct surge is detected in the mobile phone networks as pictures and texts about "funny men with sticks" fly to all corners of the world. Pagentry and technology meet in perfect synch.

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7 of 9 Rupert Goodwins/ZDNet

The juxtaposition of pageantry and rush-hour London may seem anomalous, but it exemplifies the Company's commitment to guild traditions of training and education while working in the most modern mileau.

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8 of 9 Rupert Goodwins/ZDNet

Should any miscreant, cutpurse, footpad or ne'er-do-well attempt to have it away on their toes with the Royal Charter, their progress will be cut short indeed by the ready pikes of the accompanying bodyguard. Thankfully, no such attempt was made.

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9 of 9 Rupert Goodwins/ZDNet

Two officers of the Royal Corps of Signals, associated with the Company for some years, approach two musket-bearing guards presumably to ask to borrow their iPhones.

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