A WEEKEND of celebratory events is planned for when Greenwich becomes a royal borough next month.

The Letter Patent, a document formally confirming the borough’s Royal status and signed by the Queen, will be presented to Greenwich on February 3.

It will then go on show across the borough.

There will be events and fireworks in Eltham and Greenwich town centres on February 4 and 5 respectively.

And a black poplar tree, donated by the Queen to Greenwich and to every borough in London to mark the Diamond Jubilee, will be planted in Eltham - at Well Hall Pleasaunce on February 4.

During the celebratory weekend the details of the new borough crest will also be revealed.

It has been designed by the Royal College of Arms and is based on Greenwich’s existing coat of arms, to which will be added new heraldic features available only to boroughs with Royal status.

Greenwich Council leader Councillor Chris Roberts said: “This year promises to be one of the most memorable and exciting in the borough’s history.

“The designation of Greenwich as a royal borough in the year of the Queen’s diamond jubilee will be followed in the summer by the arrival of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“These two major events will help place Greenwich in the world’s spotlight, and I am as determined as ever to make sure that Greenwich seizes this opportunity to attract benefits for local residents that will last for generations to come.

“From the very start, Greenwich’s enthusiastic backing for London’s bid to host the 2012 Games was based on the opportunities that it presented to build a long-lasting legacy for the borough, and for the capital as a whole.

“Now that the Games are nearly upon us, we are seeing those benefits taking shape.

“A £4.8m investment has helped to create new sports and play facilities in parks and open spaces across the borough.

“And two rebuilt secondary schools, Thomas Tallis and Crown Woods, both have competition-level sports facilities that will shortly be opened up to the local community on a year-round basis.

“At the Games themselves, Greenwich host a total of 34 events at our three major venues, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected.

“They will be attracted both to the sporting events and to the cultural events that will light up the streets and create a host of opportunities for local people and visitors to feel a part of the greatest show on earth.

“Throughout the planning of these events, the council has retained a strong commitment to involving local people and to ensuring that the events create a long-term legacy for the borough.

“Ever since the 2008 Beijing Games, Greenwich has worked hard to promote itself as a destination for business investment, and we can see the fruits of this work through the digital and cultural businesses that are now being attracted to the borough, especially to Greenwich Peninsula.

“On top of this, we have the honour bestowed on us by her majesty of becoming the royal borough of Greenwich.

“And while this honour does not in itself confer any specific privileges, it is a status that will enable us to market the borough as a destination for businesses and visitors from across the globe.

“It promises to be an exciting and unforgettable year – and one which we will build on in order to elevate our borough ever further.”

More details of events to mark the declaration of royal borough status will be published soon on the council’s website, with further updates throughout the year.