Town could apply for royal seal of approval

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Newmarket councillors are being asked to back a proposal to get a royal title for the town.

A community group has been working on an application linked to applying for the special status and, on Monday, the town council will be briefed on the project and members asked to give it their support.

The application has already been mentioned at meetings of the Newmarket Vision’s tourism group but the town council has to agreed to take it forward if it is to progress.

The idea behind the application is the long standing Royal patronage of the town’s racing industry which stretches back centuries.

It’s the reigning monarch who decides to bestow the honour.

Petitions either come directly from the Prime Minister, or as in the case of Wootton Bassett, which in 2011 became the first town in 100 years to be given the royal title, are made through the Cabinet Office.

Requests for the title are made for various reasons and cities, towns, boroughs and hospitals can apply.

The only other royal towns in England are Royal Leamington Spa and Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Both of these spa towns petitioned for the honour in recognition of their history and royal patronage of their facilities.

Leamington Spa was granted the title in 1838 by Queen Victoria, and Tunbridge Wells in 1909 by King Edward VII.

The Queen has horses trained in Newmarket including Classic winners with Sir Noel Murless and Sir Cecil Boyd-Rochfort. She also opened the National Horseracing Museum in 1983.