Calls are mounting for Merton to become only the fourth Royal borough after it was announced the Queen’s seal of approval will be given to Greenwich to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

It might now be a giant shopping centre, but the former site of Merton Priory in Colliers Wood lays claim to be the only place outside Westminster Abbey where a King or Queen of England has been crowned in the last 1,000 years.

Sections of the Magna Carta were also written at the Priory in the 13th Century and more recently, Queen Victoria is even thought to have wiled away her holidays at estates in Mitcham.

According to Merton’s opposition leader, Stephen Alambritis, the council should be leading a campaign to become a Royal borough.

He said: “Merton has so many royal connections and I think a powerful case can be made. It will raise the profile of the borough and establish it as more than just a name but a real place with a history to be proud of.

“For a day at least it will be at the centre of the nation’s focus - just look at the what’s going on in Greenwich.”

Council leader David Williams, said: “It’s funny because I was talking to Boris [Johnson] at an event last week and he asked, how is the Royal borough?

“He was obviously aware of Merton’s history and I said it would be great if we were to have that name. Merton can lay a very good claim to it, and of course I would support any calls for such a thing but I wouldn’t be holding my breath for it to happen.”

At present, there are only three boroughs in Britain with the legal right to use the Royal title - Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, and Windsor and Maidenhead.

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