Queen today makes Greenwich Royal Borough

The Queen today officially made Greenwich a Royal Borough – making it the first borough to be granted Royal status in over 80 years.

The announcement is one of the first to mark the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Greenwich is marking its new status with a long weekend of celebrations, including fireworks and street entertainment, starting today and taking place across Woolwich, Eltham and Greenwich town centres.

Greenwich will be the only Royal Borough among London’s six host boroughs for this summer’s Olympics, providing many of the iconic backdrops to the Games.

Already a UNESCO World Heritage Site Greenwich is known globally as the home of the Prime Meridian, Greenwich and the Mean Time.

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The Leader of Greenwich Council, Chris Roberts, and Mayor of Greenwich, Councillor Jim Gillman, today delivered the Royal Charter – a document formally confirming the borough’s Royal status and signed by The Queen – to the Town Hall in Woolwich, after collecting it from the Office of the Lord Chancellor.

Cllr Roberts said, “This is a proud day for Greenwich and its people, and reflects centuries of close associations between the borough and the monarchy.

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“In so many elements of Greenwich’s heritage, we can trace a strong Royal link – from Royal patronage of the arts, science and exploration, through the monarchy’s links with the Military and the Ordnance, to the ongoing support given by members of the Royal Family to community and voluntary organisations in the Borough.

“Our 2012 royal celebrations are a great way to showcase all the current and future inward investment, tourist and job opportunities Royal Greenwich has to offer.”

Over 18 million visitors already arrive in Greenwich each year and the borough is the only UK destination listed in Frommer’s top ten global places to visit in 2012.

It’s tourism is worth �774 million to the local economy, supporting more than 8,000 jobs.

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