Gloucestershire

Should the city of Gloucester become Royal Gloucester?

Gloucester Cathedral
Image caption King Edward II is buried in Gloucester Cathedral and Henry III was crowned in the city in 1216

Should the city of Gloucester become Royal Gloucester?

Council leaders have agreed to back a campaign for the city to get official royal status.

Some people say the city's historical links with royalty mean the petition is well placed to succeed, and it would deserve the title.

Others say parts of the city are "a dump" with lots of empty shops, and the campaign would be a waste of time and money.

So what real chance does the campaign have? Here are some opinions on whether or not Gloucester should win the royal seal of approval.

Image caption Gloucester city centre is "not fit to be royal" according to some opponents of the campaign

Jason Smith, from "Marketing Gloucester" which is leading the bid, said the city was in "a unique position" to apply for royal status.

"This year is the 800th anniversary of King Henry III's coronation in the city. That's something that no other city except London can claim to have - the coronation of a monarch of England - since the Battle of Hastings.

"Maybe we do have a good case."

Gloucester City Council leader Paul James, who put forward the motion, said it was "right to ask the public what they think".

"There are many royal connections going back over the centuries, from the coronation of Henry III to Edward II being buried at Gloucester Cathedral, to Edward the Confessor holding his Christmas court here, to King Edgar saying that Gloucester was the royal city in 964.

"We've had the badge before and we could have it again if there's a groundswell of support for it.

Image caption Some parts of Gloucester, including the city's docks, have been revamped in recent years

"I think it is worthy of debate. Ultimately, the people of Gloucester will make the decision on whether we decide to apply for the title of 'Royal Gloucester'."

The Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter, who is the Queen's representative in the county, said she would welcome the designation, but did not think the campaign would succeed.

"If you look historically there are very particular reasons why places become royal.

"There's got to be a very compelling reason why there would be a royal designation, and I'm not quite sure what the case is [for Gloucester].

"If it was just about bones from the past, probably Leicester would have [applied for royal designation], and we might have got there before now.

"There's got to be a compelling reason that links it to something that we're doing today."

Image caption Some parts of the city have been described as "a dump" and "not fit to be royal"

Reaction to the idea on social media has been varied. Tom Bubb posted on BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Facebook page: "Gloucester is no way near royal. Unless they knock the whole city centre down and rebuild it."

Bev Isherwood is in favour of the idea. She said: "The county as a whole is home to a lot of royals with connections and the future king lives here."

Stephen Cullis said: "I can't see what sticking a royal plaster on the city name will actually achieve. As a city, Gloucester is a bit of a disappointment - it always looks so grubby and uncared for.

"I'd almost feel embarrassed to be asking for it to be named a royal city unless the place is seriously cleaned up."

Jeffery Smith said: "Parts of Gloucester are not fit to be royal. Some parts of the city are a dump."

Alison Murphy thought it was good idea. She said: "We have many royals living here and we have the cathedral king crowning incident. Plus, we are a thoroughly decent city."

Adrian Mitchell said: "Changing the name won't stop the disappointment tourists will experience when they actually visit."

If a petition was launched and it gained enough popularity, the government would be asked to make the case to the Queen.

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