January 23th, 2012 | Tags: Cities, Queen's Jubilee

So what is a city anyway?

I guess most people equate a city with having a cathedral, right?

So how do you explain Liverpool having two (does that make it twice the city?), or the fact that Cambridge doesn’t actually have one? Or that Chelmsford, not a city, does have one?

Confusing or what.

So could it be to do with size?

Er...not really, when you consider the population of Wells, the smallest, is around the 10-15,000 mark, as is the pretty city of Ely in Cambridgeshire (here’s where you’ll find Cambridge’s cathedral, by the way), compared with London at around 8 million.
Actually, it’s much simpler. Like, does the ruling British Monarch want to grant city status? Is there some event of importance to the Monarchy, and us all, that merits such status?

Hence why the most recent dates for naming new cities were at the turn of the Millennium, when it was decided Wolverhampton and Brighton & Hove in England were named cities (ditto Inverness in Scotland); and in the Queens Golden Jubilee in 2002, when Preston, and Newport in Wales, got the nod.

And why this year, in the Queens Diamond Jubilee, another town will get the accolade.

So, of the towns that threw their hats into the ring, will it be bookies favourite, Reading- birthplace of the Duchess of Cambridge, a pretty good claim; or the Medway towns, with their impressive naval importance; Middlesborough, home to the transporter bridge; or Milton Keynes, the newest ‘city’ of them all?

The decision comes in May this year, but one thing’s for sure though. None of them have a cathedral, adding further to the mystery of what exactly constitutes a city.

City pics