Queen’s Jubilee: Does city status benefit cities like Milton Keynes?

Happiness was on the cusp of being alive, but being from Milton Keynes was truly paradise.

On Friday May 20, residents of Buckinghamshire’s new town – home of roundabouts, concrete cows and thousands of jokes about how at least yoghurt has culture – woke up to find that they lived in a widely ridiculed town.

They would now live in a widely ridiculed town.

Milton Keynes is one of eight towns to be granted city status to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Others include Doncaster and Colchester (Essex’s third new town in a decade and second in just a few months); Dunfermline in Scotland; Wrexham in North Wales; and Bangor in Northern Ireland (not to be confused with the other Bangor, in Wales, which was already a city, confusingly).

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To complete the list, Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man, and Stanley, in the Falklands. Neither is technically in the UK, and the latter holds fewer people than a reasonably sized housing estate, but we are where we are.

Thirty other towns have been left to lick their wounds, including some pretty big places, such as Middlesbrough, Bournemouth and Reading, which have hilariously been voted out four times, suggesting someone in Whitehall is pursuing a vendetta particular. (There were reportedly 31, except the resort town of Marazion was forced out of the contest after it was revealed no one had sought Cornwall County Council’s advice on the matter.)

This is, of course, a blow to the local pride of these 30 cities. Whether it matters beyond that, however, is an open question.

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