In England, the offices of mayor and lord mayor have long been ceremonial posts, with few or no duties attached to them. In recent years they have doubled as more influential political roles while retaining the ceremonial functions. A mayor's term of office denotes the municipal year.
Traditionally mayors and provosts have been elected by town, borough and city councils. Since 2000, several districts now have directly elected mayors with extensive powers. The role of the chair of a district council is exactly the same as the mayor of a borough council; they have the same status as first citizen, after the Sovereign, in their district, but they are not addressed as mayor.
In England, where a borough or a city is a local government district or a civil parish, the mayor is elected annually by the council from their number and chairs meetings of the council with a casting vote. Where the mayoralty used to be associated with a local government district but that district has been abolished, charter trustees may be set up to provide continuity until a parish council may be set up. Where a parish council (whether the successor of a former borough or not) has resolved to style itself a town council, then its chair is entitled to the designation of town mayor, though in practice, the word "town" is often dropped.
Currently, 23 cities in England have lord mayors:
In May 2022, Southampton was added to the list.
The Lord Mayors of London and York are styled The Right Honourable. All other Lord Mayors, as well as the Mayors of cities and the original Cinque Ports (Sandwich, Hythe, Dover, Romney and Hastings), are styled The Right Worshipful. (Bristol styles its lord mayor "Right Honourable" instead, but this usage is without official sanction.) All other Mayors are styled The Worshipful, though this is in practice seldom used for a Town Mayor. These honorific styles are used only before the Mayoral title and not before the name, and are not retained after the term of office.
A mayor can also be styled Mr Mayor and usually appoints a consort, usually a spouse, other family member or fellow councillor. In England (and the Commonwealth) the designated female consort of a mayor is usually styled Mayoress or occasionally Mrs Mayor and accompanies the mayor to civic functions. A female mayor is also called mayor, not, as sometimes erroneously called, "Lady Mayoress". A mayoress or Lady Mayoress is a female consort of a mayor or Lord Mayor; a male consort of a mayor or Lord Mayor is a Mayor's Consort or Lord Mayor's Consort.
In the opening of a speech being made you would say 'Mr Mayor'
THE first notion Janet Pisasale got that being married to a man in public life was going to be difficult was even before he was elected. ... MRS MAYOR: Janet Pisasale relaxes at home. ....