C.G.P. Grey, who previously educated us to the difference between England, Britain and the U.K., now points out that even more confusingly, there are two Londons: the City of London and Greater London. The latter is what most people think of when they say and hear the word ‘London’, and it is the capital of the UK, has a mayor and about seven million people. However, in the middle of it, there’s an entirely separate city that is much older, is its own county, has its own mayor, police, representative in Parliament, electoral process, and houses most of the area’s financial industry along with only about 11,000 people.
The City of London was built by the Romans in the first century AD and, a hundred years later, they also built some very good walls around it. A thousand years after that, when William the Conqueror invaded England, he found it difficult to subdue the city, so he granted it special status and rights that the city still enjoys today. But its boundary has remained unchanged this entire time and as urban sprawl rose up on its perimeter, it became a city within a city. The urban area around it became Greater London but, as Rome has no authority over the Vatican, it has no authority over the City of London.
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