Should Epsom and Ewell be a Royal Borough?

On Friday 20th May it was announced that 8 new cities were named these being Milton Keynes, Colchester and Doncaster in England, Dunfermline in Scotland, Bangor in Northern Ireland and Wrexham in Wales. Also, for the first time places in an Overseas Territory being Stanley, in the Falklands – and a crown dependency – Douglas, in the Isle of Man 

Now this got us thinking Should Epsom & Ewell be a Royal Borough like our neighbours Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon -Thames?  There are 4 Royal boroughs in England these being Greenwich, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston – Upon – Thames and Windsor and Maidenhead. As well as Royal Boroughs there are 4 Royal Towns these being Leamington Spa,Sutton Coldfield,Tunbridge Wells and Wootton Bassett. To get royal status is by way of an express wish of a monarch.

So let’s look at Epsom & Ewell compared to those we have listed above. Starting with our neighbour Kingston. You might think Kingston is a royal borough because of Hampton Court. Well surprisingly Hampton Court falls under Richmond, which is also not a royal borough council. Kingston is a royal borough, and also the oldest Royal Borough, having been designated as such in 925 AD by Saxon, King Athelsen. The town has been the location of the coronations of seven former Saxon kings of England and the coronation stone can still be seen next to Kingston Police station. Sad to say we have had no coronations in Epsom & Ewell.

Let’s look at Kensington and Chelsea they were made a royal borough back in 1965 and for obvious reason with Kensington Palace in the borough which was the birthplace of Queen Victoria and is home to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children. 

Windsor and Maidenhead only became a royal borough in 1998, which surprised me, due to the town being home to the world’s largest continually inhabited castle. Windsor Castle was built by William the Conqueror, he of 1066 fame, in 1070 and has been home to the Royal family ever since. As well as an home so many members of the royal family are also buried within the borough.

Another royal borough is Greenwich which was designated as a royal borough in 2012 to mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Greenwich is renowned for being the birthplace of most of the Tudor monarchs at the former Greenwich Palace which once stood in the grounds of Greenwich Park. It is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to Greenwich Royal Park, The Royal Observatory, The Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House and the seventeenth century clipper, the Cutty Sark.  

So comparing these to Epsom & Ewell you might think we don’t compete Well we do. Ok no royal palace with current members of the royal family living in now but Nonsuch Palace was commissioned in April 1538 by Henry VIII to celebrate the birth of his son, Edward VI. It was one of Henry VIII’s largest building projects and stood for nearly 150 years. Elizabeth I was a frequent visitor to Nonsuch, and in 1585, Nonsuch Palace hosted the Treaty of Nonsuch, signed by Elizabeth and the Dutch rebels fighting against Spanish rule. King Philip II of Spain viewed this treaty as a declaration of war, and three years later, he launched the Spanish Armada.

Now let’s look at the Royal Towns. Royal Sutton Coldfield was made a Royal Town by Henry VIII. he loved the area for hunting and eventually donated his hunting land to the residents of Sutton Coldfield. Now Lemington Spa, 1838, and Tunbrige Wells , 1909, were both spa towns used regularly by Kings and Queens. With the opening of Lemington Spa’s Pump Room and Baths in 1814 the town soon became a popular spa resort, visited by hundreds of tourists and Queen Victoria on at least two occasions. As for Tunbridge Wells King Charles I and his wife Queen Henrietta visited the town, setting a trend which would turn the town into a popular spa resort. 

As for Wootton Bassett, a small market town situated in Wiltshire,  was designated as a royal borough in 2011 by Queen Elizabeth II. The town is situated a few miles from the former RAF Lyneham, a Royal Air Force Base which was used for the repatriation of deceased war veterans of the Irag and Afghanistan conflicts between 2007 and 2011.

Apart from Wootton Bassett, which no one who witnessed the procession of hearses will ever forget, the others were spas or favourite place of a royal family member to visit. Epsom & Ewell beats them hands down 

History tells us the healing powers of the waters were discovered in 1618, earlier the Tunbridge Wells or Lemington Spa. But it wasn’t until 1650’s its popularity grow after Charles II was back on the throne after Oliver Cromwell. People would travel from all over England to visit the well, usually in August when it was most popular.Including Charles II who would meet Nell Gwyn in the town or go racing on the downs. With more spa towns developing across the country Epsom as a spa town to visit started to fade around the 1730’s But by then Epsom was now know for its horse racing. The first Derby was held on Thursday 4 May 1780 and Epsom connection with the royal family continued with Kings and Queens visiting the down for the greatest flat race in the world. Edward VII was the last monarch to win the Epsom Derby with with Minoru in 1909. But he also won the Derby twice as Prince of Wales with Persimmon 1896 and Golden Jubilee in 1900. Unfortunately Queen Elizabeth II, a keen horse racing owner and fan, has only managed 2nd in the Derby but she is a regular visitor to the course only missing less then 5 Derby’s in her 70 year reign. 

Conclusion

Should Epsom & Ewell be a royal borough? YES

Epsom and Ewell has had royal visitors dating back to 1500’s, who knows the Saxon Kings on route to Kingston may have stayed in the area, to the present. Famous for its waters, Epsom Salts know around the world, and it horse racing. In fact Go Epsom have created a Kings and Queens In Epsom & Ewell Quiz which highlights how much the royals loved Epsom & Ewell. To take the quiz Click Here

So there you go Epsom & Ewell should be The Royal Borough of Epsom & Ewell , well I think so……

What Do You Think?

 Let us know in the comments below or take our poll.

Should Epsom & Ewell be a Royal Borough

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3 thoughts on “Should Epsom and Ewell be a Royal Borough?”

  1. The “Royal” status is a personal gift of the Queen. There is no formal process or application or Government form! Apparently, our MP, Rt Hon. Chris Grayling, once suggested it to Her Majesty and Her Majesty’s favour was not won.

    One can only speculate as to why Her Majesty’s favour has not been won. Perhaps already there are too many Royal Boroughs in the South-East of England. The now Royal Borough of Greenwich may have won her favour with that Royal Barge leaving its quaysides on the occasion of an earlier Jubilee. If Epsom and Ewell metaphorically pushes the boat out this week and the Queen attends the Derby, who knows. I suspect it is better not to press the question and let Her Majesty arrive at the award entirely of Her Majesty’s own accord.

  2. If it means that Ewell Village will be better looked after as it is on the Historic Englands at risk register then yes we should be considered. Ewell Village High street is in an appalling state, we have no money apparently to improve the overflowing bins, poor architecture, perilous pavements, pushing traffic back on to the bypass instead of being used as a bypass…. Why is Ewell Village neglected? What is the political motivation from Surrey County Council and Epsom and Ewell Council to ignore the villages downward spiral. If it wasn’t for the residents we would be swimming in litter. What exactly is going on with the council’s mindset – ok we are strapped for cash apparently (due to government and SCC wasteful expenditure) but we are fed up with this excuse when we see Kingston and Sutton boroughs benefitting from cycle schemes, traffic diversion measures, we get all the traffic and pollution dumped on us… WHY? What have we done to deserve such poor representation? Councillors and SCC passing the buck every time we need a solution to our village’s problems all created by traffic nightmare making it very unpleasant to even navigate by foot…..There is something very odd about the whole thing….we need to question as to why this is happening…

  3. We also have Nell Gwyn House, and what remains of the wall in The Warren Recreation Ground, Langley Vale Park and the house used by former Kings and royalty when passing through Epsom.
    The Racecourse steeped in history with the Plaque on the Racecourse rails, but I suspect as HRH Queen Elizabeth II has not had a win on any of her Race horses for The Derby , that she will not give us a “Royal” Borough.
    And sorry to say the Town has gone down so much over the last 10 years with so many eateries and Charity shop’s, and Debenham’s going out of business, too many Potholes and Sink holes appearing all over the Town, the engineer’s need to look out of the box for the reason why!

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