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King's Lynn, Norfolk
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This English borough wants to get a royal rebrand

Could West Norfolk get exclusive recognition as a royal borough?

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton

Becoming a royal borough isn’t an easy thing to achieve. Since Kingston upon Thames was designated royal status by King Athelstan way, way back in in 925AD (though it was only formally confirmed as a royal borough in 1927), just ten other areas have joined its ranks. 

But now, the borough of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk thinks it’s in with a chance. Councillors in the borough, which is made up of King’s Lynn, Downham Market, Hunstanton and a few other country villages, have submitted a motion to get royal recognition. 

To be fair, West Norfolk does have some solid royal credentials. It’s home to the Sandringham Estate, which is where the royal family famously go every year for Christmas and is the only royal residence personally owned by King Charles III.

And there’s more. In 1537 Bishop’s Lynn was renamed King’s Lynn in a royal charter by King Henry VIII and Anmer Hall (in the nearby village of Anmer) is also the current residence of Wills and Kate. 

If its bid is successful, West Norfolk will join a super exclusive list of royal boroughs that includes Greenwich, Kensington and Chelsea, Berkshire, Windsor, Leamington Spa and Tunbridge Wells. 

Councillor David Sayers said in a motion to West Norfolk Council: ‘This is motivated by a collective commitment to strengthening our community's bond with the royal heritage, fostering a profound sense of pride, and fortifying our collective identity.

‘It is a testament to our dedication to preserving and celebrating the rich historical ties that bind our borough with the monarchy.’

But according to a statement on the Cabinet Office’s Royal Names website, locals probably shouldn’t get their hopes up. 

It says: ‘The protected Royal titles are sparingly granted and strict standards are applied. The grant of the titles is not, and never has been, a right which can be claimed by a body fulfilling certain conditions.’

Time Out in Norfolk

Norfolk can often get a bit forgotten as a county, but we think it’s got plenty of stuff worth a royal nod. Don’t believe us? Go there yourself and check out all our picks of the best things to do, the best hotels to stay in and how best to spend time in its biggest city, Norwich

Did you see that the location of Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2024 has been revealed

Plus: This British train journey is officially one of the most scenic in the world

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