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Newmarket could bid for 'Royal Town' status

Town Councillors will vote tonight on whether or not to apply to the Queen for 'Royal Town' status for Newmarket.

The Suffolk town, well known for its links to the horse racing industry, has a long history of Royal patronage dating back centuries.

Now an independent group, made up of local businessmen and women, representatives from the horse-racing industry and councillors, would like to apply for the status because of its links with horse racing and the royals.

It has to be approved first by the town council, and if so, could take around 12 months to go through the process of applying to the palace.

The Queen will have the final say on whether or not to bestow the honour on Newmarket.

"There has been racing in Newmarket since the 1600s, Charles II used to come here and there's been racing in Newmarket since and most monarchs have had horses here...The Queen is very keen on racing and she does have a number of horses here."

– Cllr Warwick Hirst, Newmarket

There are only two other 'Royal Towns', Royal Leamington Spa and Royal Tunbridge Wells. If Newmarket gets approval from the Queen, it will be the third town to have the status.

The Town Council meeting is at 7pm tonight.

Princess Royal visits region today

The Princess Royal who visits the region today Credit: ITV News Anglia

Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, will visit a school in the region today.

She'll arrive by helicopter on a visit to Neale-Wade Academy in March before officially opening the new Fire and Rescue station at Parkside Place in Cambridge this afternoon.

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A royal 'get well soon' for Sandringham regular Mary

Mary Relph with her flowers and note from the Duchess of Cornwall. Credit: Archant

A regular royal watcher who did not make it to Sandringham this Christmas has received a bunch of flowers from the Duchess of Cornwall.

Mary Relph, who is a familiar face at the estate every time the royal family are there, was in hospital recovering from a major operation.

But her absence did not go unnoticed.

The Duchess of Cornwall sent her a bunch of flowers with a card saying: "Dear Mary, these come with many healing thoughts for a speedy recovery. All my best wishes, Camilla."

Mary Relph with her note from the Duchess of Cornwall. Credit: Archant.

Norfolk actor and film star, John Hurt awarded knighthood

The New Year's honours have been announced and there's a knighthood for the Norfolk actor and film star, John Hurt.

He says he's delighted to be recognised by the nation. One of the region's MPs is also made a knight - while a town pastor who helps the vulnerable in Suffolk gets the British Empire Medal.

Click below to watch Malcolm Robertson's report:

Couple from Bedfordshire recognised in New Year's honours list

A couple from Bedfordshire who have raised thousands of pounds for charity have been recognised in the New Year's honours list.

Nigel and Susan Anstead admit they were stunned to get the news.

Also rewarded, the recently retired president of the National Farmers' Union, who gets the OBE, and the town pastor, who helps the vulnerable, is also acknowledged.

Click below to watch Malcolm Robertson's report:

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Norfolk actor John Hurt becomes a 'Sir'

John Hurt speaking to ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson at his home near Cromer Credit: ITV News Anglia

John Hurt, one of the grand figures of TV and film, who now lives near Cromer in Norfolk, has been awarded a Knighthood for his services to drama.

His distinguishing career has taken hime through a series of mesmerising performances from the groundbreaking TV portrayal of Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, through his title role in The Elephant Man to his brief incarnation as The Doctor last year in BBC One's Doctor Who.

Few viewers would ever forget the heart-stopping moment Sir John met his end in Alien, or his role as Winston Smith in 1984.

Hurt who is now 74-years old is probably just as well known now to a younger audience for his role as Mr Ollivander, the wand maker, in the Harry Potter films.

"I am thrilled, I'm really thrilled. I didn't expect it, it came out of the blue, I didn't do anything to make it happen, I got this letter asking if I would mind may name being put forward and I said yes I'd be delighted to have my name put forward."

– John Hurt, Actor

The 74-year-old, the son of a clergyman, developed an interest in acting at school but was discouraged by his parents and headteacher, and instead went to art college with an eye to becoming a teacher.

However, he went on to land a scholarship for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) and picked up TV and film roles until he had his major breakthrough, appearing in A Man For All Seasons as Richard Rich.

Sir John achieved further prominence in the film 10 Rillington Place as Timothy Evans who was wrongly executed for the crimes of serial killer John Christie (played by Richard Attenborough), and as Caligula in the celebrated BBC drama I, Claudius.

Your county-by-county guide to the New Year Honours in the Anglia region

The Queen has granted New Year Honours to dozens of people in the Anglia region. Credit: PA Wire

Dozens of people across the Anglia region have been given honours in the 2014 New Year Honours list.

Here is the full county-by-county list:

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