WATCH: Pearly kings and queens gather for London festival

The so-called pearly kings decorate their clothes with mother of pearl buttons, in a working class tradition founded by road sweeper named Henry Croft in the 1870s. It can take up to two years to finish an outfit, with some weighing close to 12 kilograms.

The Harvest Festival is held on the last Sunday of September and sees pearly kings and queens from across London assemble in Guildhall Yard to sing traditional cockney songs, dance, and make merry, before marching to St Mary-le-Bow church to donate goods to charity and attend a special church service.

"It takes two years to make a suit and it’s about 5000 buttons," Gale Griffiths, Pearly Consort of Bexleyheath said.

"So a very, very long time. It’s a labour of love.

"I couldn’t sew at the beginning of the year so I’ve had to learn to sew. If you look at the back. A very long time. It’s good, I love it."