Company News

Her Majesty’s visit to the Hall - 31 May 2017

Her Majesty The Queen visited Drapers’ Hall on 31 May 2017 to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s admission to the Freedom of the Company by Patrimony on May 20th 1947.

Her Majesty The Queen arriving at the Hall with the Lord Mayor

Her Majesty was received by the Master, Mr William Charnley, members of the Court of Assistants and their partners. At a special meeting of the Court of Assistants that afternoon, she was duly elected a member of the Court.

Her Majesty The Queen at Drapers' Hall with the Master

Her Majesty The Queen with the Junior Warden

The Court of Wardens

Her Majesty The Queen with Master & Wardens
The Queen also viewed a display of documents, letters and photographs illustrating her long association with the Company, before joining the Court for a celebratory luncheon.

After the Luncheon, The Queen signed an Instrument, formally recording Her Majesty's election to the Court.


Her Majesty The Queen signing instrument



Election of Master Draper  2016 - 2017

William Francis Charnley Esq

Following election by the Court of Assistants, the Master and Wardens were sworn into office on 26 July 2016 and ceremonially crowned in one of the Company's oldest ceremonies at the Election dinner that evening.

William Charnley was born in 1960, educated at Rivington & Blackrod Grammar School and graduated from Lancaster University in 1983 with a Law degree.  William also has an MA from Cambridge University.
He started his solicitors training in 1985 with what is now Addleshaw and Goddard becoming a Partner in 1989.  He has since been a partner at Simmons & Simmons, McDermott Will & Emery, Mayer Brown and is currently with King & Spalding where he has been since 2012 and heads the European Corporate Practice.
He holds additional posts of:  Fellow of Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge; Honorary Fellow of the Law Faculty, University of Lancaster; Lecturer Hertford College, University of Oxford and Non-executive Director, Bank & Clients plc.
William Charnley became a Freeman of the Drapers’ Company by Redemption in 1997, was called to the Livery in 1999 and was appointed Junior Warden and a Court Assistant in 2010.  He will be elected Master Draper from 27 July 2016 to 25 July 2017. 
His recreational interests are impressionist and modern Scottish art, keeping fit, country pursuits, classic motor cars, music, food and wine.
He is married to Kathryn and they have two children, a son and daughter.  Kathryn is a solicitor specialising in environmental law.