City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions for the status are hard fought. The status does not apply automatically on the basis of any particular criteria, although in England and Wales it was traditionally given to towns with diocesan cathedrals. This association between having a cathedral and being called a city was established in the early 1540s when King Henry VIII founded dioceses (and therefore cathedrals) in six English towns and also granted them all city status by issuing letters patent.
Until a cathedral was built London was not a city in the British sense. The first cathedral in the true city was St Pauls.
Jan 11 10, 11:36 AM
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Edward Rutherfurd's book "London" has been a bestseller for years. It shows the history of London unfolding through the eyes of ancient locals and in the following chapters, through the eyes of their descendants.
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