Greenwich to become Royal Borough on February 3

By Simon Hayes on January 6, 2012 5:17 PM |

RoyalNavalCollege142.jpgGreenwich will officially become a Royal Borough next month.

The Queen bestowed the honour on the borough last year, and the Council has confirmed that the title of the Royal Borough of Greenwich will be formally adopted on February 3 - and it will prompt a weekend of celebrations across the area.

The confirmation of Royal Borough status is one of the first events to mark the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and Greenwich residents will have the chance to join in the celebrations.

The Letter Patent, a document formally confirming the Borough's Royal status and signed by The Queen, will be presented to the borough on February 3 and will then go on show across the borough.

Events and fireworks in Eltham and Greenwich town centres will be held on February 4 and 5 respectively, while a Black Poplar tree, donated by The Queen to Greenwich and to every Borough in London to mark the Diamond Jubilee, will be planted at Well Hall Pleasaunce in Eltham on February 4.

Details of the new Borough crest will also be revealed. Designed by the Royal College of Arms, the crest will be based on Greenwich's existing coat of arms, to which will be added new heraldic features available only to boroughs with Royal status. These include the Tudor Rose.

The Council asked schools and members of the public for their suggestions, and some of the hundreds of suggestions received were displayed last year in a public exhibition at Woolwich Town Hall.

Leader of Greenwich Council Cllr Chris Roberts said, "This year promises to be one of the most memorable and exciting in the borough's history.

"The designation of Greenwich as a Royal Borough in the year of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee will be followed in the Summer by the arrival of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"These two major events will help place Greenwich in the world's spotlight, and I am determined to make sure that Greenwich seizes this opportunity to attract benefits for local residents that will last for generations to come.

"We have the honour bestowed on us by Her Majesty of becoming the Royal Borough of Greenwich. And while this does not in itself confer any specific privileges, it is a status that will enable us to market the borough as a destination for businesses and visitors from across the globe.

"It promises to be an exciting and unforgettable year - and one which we will build on in order to elevate our borough ever further."

More details of events to mark the declaration of Royal Borough status will be published soon on the Council's website, with further updates throughout the year. Go to greenwich.gov.uk.