The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Southend to mark the day the famous seaside resort becomes a city.
The royal couple visited Southend High School for Boys before heading to the Civic Centre for ceremony where city status was formally conferred.
They then named a train on Southend Pier in honour of Sir David Amess before meeting the large crowds that had gathered along Western Esplanade.
The District Commander, Chief Inspector Ian Hughes, said it was “a proud day for Southend”.
Chief Insp Hughes said achieving city status was a fitting tribute for late Southend MP Sir David Amess who was fatally stabbed at a constituency surgery in October last year. He said:
“The city status is Sir David’s legacy. It was something he was very passionate about and he would often tell me his about his ambitions for Southend and how we could work together to achieve them.”
Chief Insp Hughes was one of the guests at a reception at a restaurant on the sea front and he spoke to The Duchess of Cornwall about the work going on to tackle crime in Southend.
“I had the privilege of talking to The Duchess of Cornwall. She was very friendly and asked me questions about the challenges of policing in Southend. “It gave me a great opportunity to tell her about all the great partnership work between the police, the unitary authority and voluntary organisations and charities who all work together to make sure people in Southend are well looked after.”
As someone who has lived in Southend his whole life, Chief Insp Hughes added that he believes city status will have a positive impact.
“Southend being awarded city status really offers the people of Southend hope for the future. We are a developing city, but it shows we have the potential to grow and become an even more attractive place for people to live, work and to visit. It’s a proud day for Southend and will put us on the map nationally.”
TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in front of Southend Pier
Southend wait for the arrival of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall
TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrive in Southend
Our Southend PCSOs spending time with younger members of our community on this special day for Southend
TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Southend Pier
Our officers in Southend keeping people safe
Keeping Southend safe
With the busy summer season on the horizon, Chief Insp Hughes said he wants to encourage people to visit the city and says officers will be patrolling the most popular areas to keep people safe.
“We want to make sure Southend is an inviting place. It has a lot to offer – the seafront, the green spaces, the High Street. But we also want visitors to remember that people do live here and to treat the area respectfully. “When people see police, we want them to be reassured, and we want to have really positive engagement with people who’ll hopefully then tell their family and friends about what a great place the city of Southend is.”