WITH just days to go until it is officially declared a royal borough, new signs are already popping up across Greenwich.

The borough will be given a letters patent announcing its new status on Friday and three days of celebratory events are set to follow.

Greenwich Council has released full details of all the action happening in Woolwich, Eltham and Greenwich.


On Friday, Woolwich will host an evening display of fireworks, music and film to launch a weekend of celebrations marking the day Greenwich officially receives its new Royal Borough status on Friday February 3 2012.

Woolwich’s General Gordon Square is the focal point for the celebrations which start at 5.30pm, when roving entertainers will move around the crowds and winter warming drinks will be served.

The Woolwich Big Screen will show a specially commissioned short film exploring Greenwich’s royal connections and explaining the features of the new Royal Greenwich Crest.

At 6.30pm council leader Councillor Chris Roberts will welcome people to the royal borough with a short speech ahead of a 10-minute spectacular firework display set to music.

The fireworks display will light up the Woolwich skyline, choreographed to a musical soundtrack including, Rule Britannia, Jupiter (I Vow to Thee My Country), Pomp & Circumstance (which includes Land of Hope and Glory), Nimrod, Jerusalem and The National Anthem.

The event will end at around 7pm.


The people of Eltham will have a chance to join a day of celebration on Saturday February 4.

Costumed performers, musical entertainment and free admission to Eltham Palace will be among the highlights of a full day’s events taking place across three locations in Eltham, and culminating in a musical fireworks finale.

Eltham will also receive a black poplar sapling to mark the Queen’s 60th year on the throne. This is a favourite tree of the Queen’s and has been planted in Royal estates and parks.

It will be planted at a special ceremony in Well Hall Pleasaunce at 2pm.

Local schools, businesses and community groups are taking part in the events which are free and open to the public, taking place at three venues - The Eltham Centre, Eltham Palace and The Tudor Barn at Well Hall Pleasaunce.

Activities in the Eltham Centre based on the borough’s royal history run from 10am to 5pm.

It includes entertainment, exhibitions and an opportunity to view the Letters Patent - the document signed by the Queen that officially confers royal borough status on Greenwich.

Eltham Palace, whose medieval Great Hall was where Henry VIII was educated, will be offering free admission between 10am and 2pm.

Activities on offer at Eltham Palace and in the grounds will include free craft workshops for families (just turn up on the day), a falconry display, roving ‘royal’ entertainers and costumed characters.

Later in the day, free entertainment will be on offer outside the Tudor Barn in Well Hall Pleasaunce including roving ‘royal’ entertainers and live musicians performing.

A musical fireworks finale at 6pm will round off the day’s celebrations.


A dramatic early evening waterfront firework display to music at the Old Royal Naval College will end a whole day of celebrations on Sunday February 5.

The fireworks will follow a ‘Grand Royal Parade’ through Greenwich, featuring lanterns, a mock golden carriage and around 1000 people taking part.

Ahead of the fireworks and parade there will be festivities and entertainment in and around Greenwich Town Centre throughout the day with events taking place at some of the world heritage site’s most famous locations – from the recently extended National Maritime Museum to the Old Royal Naval College on the banks of the Thames.

There will be workshops from the morning onwards, special tours of some of the royal locations, and from 2pm a stage the Old Royal Naval College will host entertainment and music.

Some of the highlights are:

• The fireworks spectacular at nightfall – a fireworks display set to music will take place at 6pm in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College – creating a stunning waterfront view, and the building will be lit with a ‘gobo’ featuring the new Royal Borough logo •

A ‘Grand Royal Parade’ at 5:30pm with lanterns, golden carriages and expected to feature up to 1000 people

• An outdoor stage from 2:00pm at the Old Royal Naval College, featuring various artists and local performers

• Lantern-making workshops at the National Maritime Museum for people to make lanterns to take part in the ‘Grand Royal Parade’

• In addition, a general open day at the National Maritime Museum with various workshops being held

• Greenwich Town Centre will be decorated with new Royal Borough banners throughout

• A display at the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre at the Old Royal Naval College including the Letters Patent and a Royal Borough display

• The chance for children to dress in royal costume and to take part in the parade and other activities

• Roving royal-themed entertainment throughout Greenwich Town Centre

For more on the borough’s royal events, visit greenwich.gov.uk/royalcelebration