Historically the Freedom of the City has been an award made by towns and cities to esteemed members of its community. However, in contemporary society, the award of Freedom of the City tends to be entirely ceremonial, given by local government to those who have served in some exceptional capacity, or upon those whom the City wishes to bestow an honour.
The conferring of the honour of Freedom of the City is a means of acknowledging the contribution made by an individual, association or organisation to the life of the City of Cardiff.
In considering a nomination for award of the Honorary Freedom of the City and County of Cardiff, either of the following agreed criteria must apply to the nominated persons/organisation:
  • persons of distinction, and
  • persons who have, in the opinion of the Authority, rendered eminent services to the City and County of Cardiff.
Cardiff has bestowed the Honorary Freedom of the City to 62 individuals and 10 organisations since its inception in 1886.