July 20, 1988: Michael Jackson was presented with a Sword to commemorate the Bad Tour at the Guildhall party.
In the evening, a banquet is held to commemorate the imminent Bad shows at Wembley Stadium. Michael became the first ever commoner to enter the London’s historic Guildhall’s Royal Entrance, a unique privilege that required the Queen’s personal approval.
His arrival was heralded by the red-jacketed trumpeters of the Life Guard cavalry, usually seen marching along the Mall. There followed a pounds 75,000 banquet, during which the roast beef was paraded through the room by the Corps of Drums of the Honourable Artillery Company.
Dancers in Olde English costume scattered rose petals at Michael’s feet. Then he watched wide-eyed as first Henry VIII, then Elizabeth I, Lord Nelson, Nell Gwynn, Robin Hood, Maid Marion and Dick Whittington paid their respects.
Ballet dancers burst from a box.
Fire-eaters, jugglers, jesters and Elizabethan musicians visited his table. Then Michael was stunned as Merlin appeared in a puff of smoke, and glittering knights in armour bowed before him.
Michael took the salute as the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers beat the retreat, walking up and down a line of liveried Life Guard troops as if he were a general inspecting them.
He bopped lightly on his heels as the band played and grinned wildly when they launched into a version of Billie Jean.
Then a knight in shining armour galloped across the courtyard, leapt from his saddle, pulled a sword from a stone and went down on one knee before handing the sword to Michael.
He was blissfully unaware of the historical significance, and handed the sword – the sword King Arthur pulled from the stone before he recruited the knights of the Round Table Knights of the Round Table – to a 7 ft minder wearing a top hat, and made him the King of England.