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Online House Hunter: Royal touch

Alan Cleaver
flag 200x300 Online House Hunter: Royal touch

Put the flags out - for a move to a royal town

YOU probably thought that even The Independent’s Online House Hunter would find some tenuous royal connection for his blog today. Well, with one eye on a knighthood for services to online house hunting here are some notes about living in a Royal town…

First, there are currently only two royal towns: Tunbridge Wells and Leamington Spa. These will be joined this year by Wootton Bassett, granted Royal status in gratitude for the town’s “moving and dignified demonstrations of respect and mourning”. So for a truly royal home, head to any of those towns.

Take pity on the unlikely sounding, Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, which the Birmingham Post reports lost its royal status owing to a mistake by a town clerk who, in 1887, forgot to renew the Royal Charter. However, it’s hoping to reclaim it in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year so buying a home there could be a good bet for 2012.

The Royal Burghs of Scotland were abolished in 1975 and Wales’s best claim is the Royal town of Caernarfon which was made a Royal Borough by the Queen in 1963 and allowed to retain the honour when it ceased to be a borough in 1974.

There are a number of Royal Boroughs including Kingston upon Thames – the coronation place of King Athelstan in 925 and confirmed in 1909 by Edward VII. And other towns have names recognising gratitude from reigning monarchs – Bognor successfully petitioned for the suffix Regis (of the King) after George V convalesced there. Unfortunately, Bognor has probably become more famous for its apocryphal prefix following the legendary last words of the King: “Bugger Bognor”.

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