Three towns from three corners of the UK are celebrating after being awarded city status to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Chelmsford in Essex, Perth in central Scotland and St Asaph in North Wales were given the honour while Armagh in Northern Ireland was granted a Lord Mayoralty.

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.

They beat 23 other towns including Reading, Middlesbrough and Blackpool, which had also entered the Civic Honours Competition, and 11 other existing cities which had applied for the additional award of a Lord Mayoralty.

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 UK in the marking of the 60th year of the Queen's reign.

"Across the United Kingdom, I have been moved by the pride and passion which people have shown in putting their nominations forward," he said.

"The standard of application was very high, and those who missed out should not be downhearted.

"I hope the competition has given the residents of all of the places which applied a sense of civic pride, of collective ownership and of community spirit."

Chelmsford Borough Council said it was "delighted" by today's honour.

It said in a statement: "This is very welcome news for Chelmsford and everybody who lives and works within the city."