The Peppercorn Ceremony took place this morning [Apr 24] in St. George’s, following a tradition which first began in 1816. The slightly inclement weather did not stop crowds from coming out, with groups of school children lining the square to watch the pomp and pageantry.
Marked by pomp, circumstance and pageantry, the King’s Square ceremony requires the Governor to accept the annual peppercorn rent paid by Freemasons for use of the State House.
The State House was built in 1620 and is Bermuda’s oldest stone building. The landmark was used for the General Assembly of Bermuda until 1816, when the capital moved to Hamilton.
The Government of the day then rented the building for one peppercorn a year to Bermuda’s Masonic Lodge 200 of Scotland, an agreement which continues to this day.
Numerous MPs from both sides of the aisle attended, and various dignitaries arrived with great ceremony. As tradition dictates, the Governor travelled in a Bermuda style horse-drawn carriage, and the symbolic peppercorn was presented to the Governor on a velvet cushion. You can view a video of the ceremony here.
Click photos to enlarge: