Southend-on-Sea, City Status and the Sovereign In the United Kingdom the honour of city status continues to be publicly misunderstood, persistently pursued and ambiguously attained. Associations with royalty are key civic features, raising into question the relevance of contemporary city status recognition. This short speculates an alternative future for Southend-on-Sea, positing the question of what a town must do to become a city. Exploring the notion of architecture as a placeholder for desirable futures, the proposed royal pier acts as enabler for victory in a civic competition marking the Queen’s 90th birthday. ‘Status’ follows the Queen’s visit, immersion and eventual approval of the town’s new status.