Greenwich to become Royal Borough on 3 February
Published Monday, 09 January 2012
The people of Greenwich will have the chance to join in the celebrations when the borough formally becomes the Royal Borough of Greenwich on Friday 3 February 2012.
The confirmation of Royal Borough status for Greenwich is one of the first events to mark the year of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Letter Patent, a document formally confirming the borough’s Royal status and signed by The Queen, will be presented to the borough on Friday 3 February. It will then go on show across the borough.
The weekend of 3 to 5 February will see events and fireworks in Eltham and Greenwich town centres on 4 and 5 February respectively. 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, Eltham on 4 February.
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.
Cllr Chris Roberts, Leader of Greenwich Council, 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 as determined as ever to make sure that Greenwich seizes this opportunity to attract benefits for local residents that will last for generations to come.
"From the very start, Greenwich’s enthusiastic backing for London’s bid to host the 2012 Games was based on the opportunities that it presented to build a long-lasting legacy for the borough, and for the capital as a whole.
"Now that the Games are nearly upon us, we are seeing those benefits taking shape. A £4.8m investment has helped to create new sports and play facilities in parks and open spaces across the borough. And two rebuilt secondary schools, Thomas Tallis and Crown Woods, both have competition-level sports facilities that will shortly be opened up to the local community on a year-round basis.
"At the Games themselves, Greenwich will host a total of 34 events at our three major venues, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected. They will be attracted both to the sporting events and to the cultural events that will light up the streets and create a host of opportunities for local people and visitors to feel a part of the greatest show on earth.
"Throughout the planning of these events, the Council has retained a strong commitment to involving local people and to ensuring that the events create a long-term legacy for the borough.
"Ever since the 2008 Beijing Games, Greenwich has worked hard to promote itself as a destination for business investment, and we can see the fruits of this work through the digital and cultural businesses that are now being attracted to the borough, especially to Greenwich Peninsula.
"On top of this, we have the honour bestowed on us by Her Majesty of becoming the Royal Borough of Greenwich. And while this honour 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. Members of the public can sign up to receive automatic e-alerts as soon as these are published. Visit www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/ealerts
Greenwich Council communications
Andrew Stern 020 8921 5043
Notes to editors:
- Greenwich, known globally as the home of the Prime Meridian, Greenwich Mean Time and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has Royal connections dating back more than 500 years.
- Reporters who wish to receive more details of the events to mark Royal Borough status are welcome to register their details with the Council’s press office – details above.
- To mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the National Maritime Museum, the Old Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House have been redesignated as the Royal Museums, Greenwich.
- Monday 6 February marks the 60th anniversary of the date on which Princess Elizabeth succeeded her father, George VI as monarch. On 6 February 2012 the King’s Troop will relocate to its new home at Woolwich Barracks.
- From 12 to 16 March the Royal Borough of Greenwich will celebrate Civic Week, during which all individuals and organisations to have received the Freedom of the Borough will have that honour rededicated as a reflection of the Borough’s Royal status.
- A major new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum to mark the museum’s 75th anniversary - Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames – will open in April, while that same month will also see the reopening of the refurbished and restored Cutty Sark.
- Greenwich is a Host Borough for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and will host a total of 34 events in nine sports. The borough has three venues – Greenwich Park, hosting the equestrian events and modern pentathlon, The Greenwich Arena with gymnastics and the basketball finals, and Woolwich Barracks with shooting events.
- On 21 July Greenwich will be the first London borough to welcome the Olympic Torch Relay when it begins its journey through the capital. The opening ceremony for the London Olympic Games takes place on 27 July 2012. On 28 July, the first gold medals of the 2012 Olympic Games will be awarded at Woolwich Barracks, in the Men's 10m Air Pistol and Women's 10m Air Rifle events. The final gold medals of the 2012 Games will also be awarded in Greenwich when the Women’s Modern Pentathlon takes place in Greenwich Park on 12 August 2012 – the day of the Olympic closing ceremony.
- The London Paralympic Games begin on 29 August 2012 and on 30 August the first Gold Medal will be awarded at Woolwich Barracks, to the winner of the Men's P1 10m Air Pistol event. The London Paralympic closing ceremony takes place on 9 September 2012.
- Cultural events taking place in the borough before, during and after the Olympic and Paralympic Games will include the Greenwich Festivals - a series of high-quality events with highlights including English National Ballet, National Dance Company Wales and Scottish Ballet at the Old Royal Naval College, and Ted Hughes’ CROW dance theatre performance produced by Handspring Puppet Company (producers of War Horse).
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