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Photograph: David Pimborough / Shutterstock.com

These eight UK towns are being made cities for the Platinum Jubilee

There’s at least one for every nation, plus – for the first time – Overseas Territories too

Sophie Dickinson
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Sophie Dickinson
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The Queen has been on the throne for 70 years, and that means some pretty big celebrations. There’s the long bank holiday and the, erm, horse shows, but also some more permanent changes – eight towns are being turned into cities. 

In England, Milton Keynes, Colchester and Doncaster get the royal honour. Dunfermline in Scotland, Bangor in Northern Ireland and Wrexham in Wales all get the title, as does Douglas on the Isle of Man and Stanley in the Falkland Islands. It’s the first time places in Overseas Territories have been awarded city statuses. 

To win the award, towns had to make a case for their cultural heritage and royal links. Colchester has an impressive history: thought to be Britain’s first capital, in recent years it has been the home to the 16 Air Assault Brigade, the British Army’s rapid response force. Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, was founded as a Roman settlement, and was noted for its community spirit in the face of devastating floods in 2019. ‘New town’ Milton Keynes, meanwhile, was built in 1967 to serve commuters heading to London. Home to the Open University, the city is full of public art and listed buildings. 

In its application, Bangor cited its role as a key site for allies during World War II, plus The Queen’s visit to Bangor Castle in 1961. Dunfermline was once the seat of Scottish kings (Robert the Bruce is buried there), while Wrexham is home to culturally significant sites like Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a Unesco World Heritage site. 

The Queen is the patron of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), which is based in Douglas. And Stanley has been visited by the royals on multiple occasions, not least due to the ten-week conflict there in 1982. 

Research shows that the economies of newly-awarded cities tend to improve – so big congrats to all the winners. 

Did you see that anyone called Elizabeth can travel on this vintage train for free over the Jubilee weekend?

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