Henry Croft, the original Pearly King and founder of the movement, was an orphan who later became a street sweeper
The tradition began more than a century ago as a way to raise money and add a dash of cheerfulness and brutality to everyday life in London.
Pearly Kings and Queens have become icons of working class culture with & # 39; royal families & # 39; now in every municipality in the capital.
Henry Croft, the original Pearly King and founder of the movement, was an orphan who later became a street sweeper.
He came up with the idea of decorating Pearly outfits after working with apple suppliers who decorated their suits with buttons along the sides of the legs and on the vest and cap.
He designed his own light outfit with pearl buttons that he found during his work as a street sweeper.
He became a local attraction and used his popularity to raise money for his old orphanage.
His success meant that other charities called on him to raise money for them, so he asked the market traders to help him – and the Pearly Kings and Queens were born.
Today there are around 30 & # 39; royal families & # 39; – one for every London neighborhood – active.
Usually they pass the titles on to the generations, but people who have raised a lot of money for charity can be & # 39; crowned & # 39 ;.
Croft & # 39; s great-granddaughter is the Pearly Queen of Somers Town.
A statue of Henry Croft in the Saint Martin crypt in the church of the field.
It was donated by the hospitals, associations, and other charitable organizations that Henry helped in his life.
Two very colorful events in the year are the Pearly Memorial service on the third Sunday in May and the Harvest Festival service, which took place today.
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