J.K. Rowling will have the honor of receiving Freedom of London, for services to Children’s Literature.
Rowling is very proud of the achievement.
Both my parents were Londoners. They met on a train departing from King’s Cross Station in 1964, and while neither of them ever lived in London again, both their daughters headed straight for the capital the moment that they were independent. To me, London is packed with personal memories, but it has never lost the aura of excitement and mystery that it had during trips to see family as a child.
I am prouder than I can say to be given the Freedom of the City, which, on top of all the known benefits (and few people realize this), entitles me to a free pint in The Leaky Cauldron and a ten Galleon voucher to spend in Diagon Alley.
So what is a Freeman, you may ask?
The Freedom of the City of London is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade; and today, people are nominated for, or apply for, the Freedom, because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.
The Freedom is also offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to help celebrate a significant achievement, or to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life or public life. However, many of the so-called traditional privileges associated with the Freedom, such as driving sheep over London Bridge, no longer exist.
The Mayor of London, Alderman David Wootton, had this to say on J.K. Rowling’s freedom:
Her Freedom, which is bestowed on her for services to children’s literature, recognises two unique achievements – the astonishing success of the series, and the way in which Harry Potter’s adventures have not only enthralled book lovers, but also encouraged many young people to lose themselves in a book for the first time.
-Alderman David Wootton, Mayor of London
J.K. Rowling will receive her freedom on May 8th. What do you think?