It has been nearly ten years since Chelmsford was awarded city status. 

The city along with Perth in Perthshire and St Asaph in Denbighshire gained the status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Chelmsford applied to the Government along with 26 other towns and at the time Reading was the favourite.

It also beat comeptition from fellow Essex towns Colchester and Southend. 

The awards of city status and Lord Mayoralty or Provostship are honorific and confer no additional powers, functions or funding.

The honour is bestowed on an area by the Queen and there is no particular criteria. 

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In the past it was traditionally given to towns with diocesan cathedrals.

This association between having a cathedral and being called a city was established in the early 1540s when King Henry VIII founded dioceses.

However in modern times competitions for new grants of city status have been held to mark special events, such as coronations, royal jubilees or the Millennium.

On February 6 2022, the Queen will have reigned as monarch for 70 years – the first time a British sovereign will have been on the throne for seven decades.

In response a competition for local authorities to apply for city status for their area or town has been launched to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Civic Honours competition will see rare awards grant winning towns with city status, and winning cities with Lord Mayoralty or Provostship status, for the first time in 10 years.

Local authorities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be able to enter the competition and make a case for why the area deserves to be bestowed with one of these honours.

The nation is set to celebrate the monarch’s milestone during a special four-day Bank Holiday weekend from June 2 to June 5 2022.