A weekly newspaper has launched a campaign to restore the Royal status which its town lost.
The Sutton Coldfield Observer has teamed up with the town’s MP Andrew Mitchell in its bid to see it become a “Royal Town” again.
It comes after the title revealed last year that the Royal status enjoyed by Sutton Coldfield, which dated back to the reign of Henry VIII, had been lost due to a clerical error in Victorian times.
The paper’s campaign is now calling on its readers to help uncover evidence that the town should be restored as a Royal Town.Group editor Gary Phelps said: “Everyone was surprised when we found that the royal status had been allowed to slip away by some Victorian pen-pusher. Local people still assumed they were living in a Royal Town.
“Lots of clubs and societies in Sutton have the word ‘Royal’ in their names and the town’s football club are nicknamed the Royals. It’s an integral part of the town’s identity.
“These days people are fascinated with historical research, and thanks to the internet it’s something everyone can do. We’re hoping that our readers will help us prove the argument that the Prime Minister should advise Her majesty the Queen to reinstate Sutton’s royal title.
“At the very least, we can show that the people of Sutton Coldfield have spent more than a century blissfully unaware that the Royal Charter they were so proud of had lapsed.
“We hope the campaign will unite the whole town, instil local pride and, if successful, bring economic benefits. There are only a handful of towns in the UK that can boast a Royal title – it would be a great boost to Sutton and Birmingham as a whole if we get ours back.”
There have been a number of requests to the Government for the Royal status to be reinstated but it has said there is not enough evidence.
But Mark Harper, who is Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform has confirmed that if evidence can be found to prove that an error lay behind the loss of Royal status, the latest refusal would be reconsidered.