List of cities in the United KingdomIn the UK, city status is not automatically granted to a community meeting any particular criteria. It can only be obtained by receiving a Royal Charter. However some British cities which predate the historical monarchy have been regarded as cities since "time immemorial".
Until the 1880s, a town was usually granted city status if and only if it had a diocesan cathedral within its limits. Nowdays the government holds competitions for city status, with towns submitting applications to the Lord Chancellor, who makes recomendations to the sovereign. These are usually held to mark special events, such as coronations or royal jubilees.
Some cities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have the further distinction of having a Lord Mayor (as opposed to a Mayor). In Scotland the equivalent are Lord Provosts.
There are currently 66 cities (including thirty Lord Mayoralties or Lord Provostships) in the UK: 50 cities (23 Lord Mayoralties) in England, 5 cities (2 Lord Mayoralties) in Wales, 6 cities (4 Lord Provostships) in Scotland and 5 cities (1 Lord Mayoralty) in Northern Ireland. Cities with Lord Mayors or Lord Provosts are shown in bold.