Chelmsford becomes the first city in Essex

The Queen is to make a Chelmsford a city to mark her Diamond Jubilee Credit: ITV Anglia

The county town of Essex, Chelmsford, has been awarded city status to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee. It joins Perth in Scotland and St Asaph in Wales. Armagh in Northern Ireland has been granted a lord mayoralty.

It was competing against five other towns in the Anglia region - Colchester, Southend-on-Sea, Corby, Milton Keynes and Luton.

Despite Essex being the biggest county in the Anglia region in terms of population it doesn't currently have a city.

The awards have been made by the Queen on the advice of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, following a competition to bid for civic honours launched in December 2010.

Mr Clegg said the decision to award a new city in England, Scotland and Wales, and a lord mayoralty in Northern Ireland, reflected the significance of every part of the United Kingdom in diamond jubilee year.

Chelmsford is the county town of Essex and has a population of 157,500. Credit: ITV Anglia