J. K. Rowling given freedom of the City
9th May 2012 - 1:30pm
Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling has been given the freedom of the City of London in recognition of her services to children's literature in the UK and across the world.
Rowling has sold over 450 million books since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 1997 and has seen her literary creations go on to spawn eight blockbuster films and inspire millions of children.
She was honoured with the accolade during a special ceremony at Mansion House, which also included the presentation of a framed parchment certificate.
The 46-year-old author commented: '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 realise this - entitles me to a free pint in the Leaky Cauldron and a ten galleon voucher to spend in Diagon Alley.'
The Harry Potter books have been credited with launching a new era of fantasy children's novels, with the seven main novels in the series being translated into 65 languages and the last four books each breaking sales records when they were published.
Later this year, Rowling will publish her first ever adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, which will concern the search for a new parish councillor in a seemingly idyllic English market town after the post's previous occupant dies.