Greenwich Becomes A Royal Borough

The Borough of Greenwich is dead. Long live the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Today, Greenwich gets a regal promotion. The Borough will adopt a Royal appellation as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It joins existing Royal Boroughs Kensington & Chelsea and Kingston upon Thames in this privilege, and sports a new crest (right) to symbolise the new status.

The occasion will be marked with a fireworks display at Woolwich this evening. Further events, including more fireworks on Sunday, will take place across the weekend.

Greenwich certainly deserves the honour, at least from an historical perspective. Three monarchs — Henry VIII, Mary I and Elizabeth I – were born at the palace of Placentia, the long-demolished royal residence formerly on the site of today’s Old Royal Naval College. Only St James’s Palace can boast more Crown births. In addition, boy king Edward VI died at Placentia, and two of Henry VIII’s marriages took place there.

Then there are, or were, many other ‘Royal’ buildings around the borough: the Royal Observatory (itself part of the newly branded Royal Museums Greenwich), the Royal Artillery, Dockyards and Arsenal downriver at Woolwich, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the slopes of Shooters Hill.

Diamond Geezer has more on the naming, and similar bestowments around the country, while Darryl Chamberlain gives a local’s view.

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  • Toffer99

    What utter nonsense, to call something ‘Royal’ is meaningless in 2012. Is the Queen claiming to own it now? I suppose there’ll be more of this pretentious rubbish as its “Jubilee year”
    Can I suggest one for next week, when the Royal PR intern is looking for the next story, “The Royal District of Balham”. I think Charles drove past it by mistake in the late 1980′s.

    • Guest

      Meaningless to you, but it’s pure snobbishness to assume everyone (or indeed a majority) share that view.

      • Toffer99

         I assume nothing, but it seems you do.

  • Joybyr

    I am sure the old Balham would have been delighted to achieve a ‘royal’ honour!! Born there in 1934!Survived the bombing…as did Balham…lived in other parts of Great Britain…now residing in the USA…but I’ll be back for the Jubilee with bells on. Hip Hip Hooray!!

  • dguns

    It’s just a name, but somehow it makes it seem better than before. This afternoon I dub my lunch a Royal peanut butter sandwich.  The jury is still out on whether it will still stick to the top of my mouth.