A competition for local authorities to apply for city status for their area or town has been launched to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year.

The Civic Honours competition will see rare awards grant winning towns with city status, and winning cities with Lord Mayoralty or Provostship status, for the first time in 10 years, the Cabinet Office has announced.

Local authorities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be able to enter the competition and make a case for why the area deserves to be bestowed with one of these honours.

In the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year in 2012, Watford did not attempt to compete for city status – but is it time for that to change?

While we all know Watford is based in Hertfordshire, according to a You-Gov survey in 2020, 27 per cent of people surveyed considered Watford to be part of London and 60 per cent of people considered it not part of London.

Watford itself has close links to London, and like it or not, Watford is getting more high rise developments more akin to a city.

The town also has a range of attractions from Atria Watford, Vicarage Road and the Harry Potter studio tour in Leavesden.

Let us know what your thoughts are - would you be happy if Watford were to become a city?

Back in 2012, Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph were the three towns that were awarded the city status honour. 

The nation is set to celebrate the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee during a special four-day bank holiday weekend from June 2 to June 5, 2022.

On February 6, 2022, the Queen will have reigned as monarch for 70 years – the first time a British sovereign will have been on the throne for seven decades.

For the first time, the city status competition will also be open to applications from the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, according to the Cabinet Office.

In addition to the city status competition, existing cities in the UK can enter a parallel competition for a Lord Mayoralty, or Lord Provostship as it is known in Scotland.

This is a distinction given to a small number of long-established and important cities, entitling the city’s Mayor, or Provost, to be known as the Lord Mayor or Lord Provost during their term of office.

The competition will close on December 8 this year and all valid entries will receive individual consideration on their merits, before recommendations are made to the Queen by ministers.

The number of awards made across the UK, Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies will depend on the strength of the applications received, the Cabinet Office adds.

Culture Secretary and Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden said: “It’s a great opportunity for towns and cities in every corner of the country to showcase their heritage and tell us more about the people and places that make their local area so unique – and a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s reign in her Platinum Jubilee year.”

Constitution and devolution minister Chloe Smith added: “The Civic Honours competition is an opportunity to promote your hometown and win an honour for it that will last for all time.

“I encourage entries from local authorities in every part of the UK, from vibrant towns and cities with distinct identities, history, and sense of community.”

The awards of city status and Lord Mayoralty or Provostship are honorific and confer no additional powers, functions or funding.