On 14th March 2012 Her Majesty the Queen has awarded 3 cities in Great Britain with city status. Chelmsford is one of them.
Along with Chelmsford City, the Queen is giving Perth in Scotland and St. Asaph in Wales city status.
The new city status forms a part of the Queen’s Jubiliee celebrations. The Queen took advice from Deputy Prime Minister and Lord President of the Privy Council, Nick Clegg.
The Deputy Prime Minister said:
“Congratulations to Armagh, Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph who have been granted these rare honours from a field of exceptional entrants. Across the United Kingdom, I have been moved by the pride and passion which people have shown in putting their nominations forward.”
Her Majesty will formally confer the city titles by Letters Patent later this year. These are the same letters that are sent to individuals when they are invited to become life peers in the House of Lords.
What does it mean for Chelmsford?
The City status is purely honorific and Chelmsford will not gain any power, extra funding or political influence as a result.
The first towns in the UK to receive city status were those which had diocesan cathedrals. The first cities were created in the 1540s when King Henry VIII founded dioceses.
Chelmsford beat off proposals from Southend and Colchester. Colchester residents are upset that their town was not chosen. Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town and has a long history. However, Chelmsford is the “County Town” and is a strong business centre in Essex.
Essex County Council is also based in Chelmsford.
Chelmsford City Football Club
Chelmsford’s foodball club did not wait for The Queen’s permission to call themselves Chelmsford City. Chelmsford City FC has carried the city status since it was founded in 1938.
On their website they state: “Clarets Overjoyed By City Status Decision. Naming riddle finally solved!“.
Chelmsford City were the Isthmian League Premier Division champions 2007–08 and the Southern League Cup winners in 1990-91.
Chelmsford City FC play at the Melbourne Stadium in Chelmsford. There have been recent discussions about renaming Melbourne Park to mark the Queen’s Jubilee year, with the name Queen Elizabeth II Park.
The Queen will be visiting some Essex towns in her Diamond Jubilee tour of Essex.
If you are thinking about moving to the city, then read this: Where to Live in and around Chelmsford – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
News source: Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph gain city status to mark the Diamond Jubilee onthediamondjubilee.org.