Originally created as Runnymede District Council, it was granted the status of a Borough by Royal Charter in 1978.
Although it only has a population of 80,510 (Census, 2011), its name has a worldwide resonance because the Magna Carta Charter was sealed here in 1215 on "the water meadows between Staines and Windsor". The Borough's crest picks up the themes of the great charter - the Crown, the Church represented through Chertsey Abbey, the Royal swans, the green of the meadows and the blue of the River. They are brought together in the Borough's motto, "In Freedom, We Serve".
In heraldic terms, the armorial bearings amalgamate the arms granted to the former Chertsey and Egham UDC's, and the motto - "In freedom we serve" combines the ideas from Egham's "Ut homines liberi sint" (That men might be free) and Chertsey's "Servire contendimus" (We strive to serve).
Runnymede includes the towns and villages of Addlestone, Chertsey, Egham, Englefield Green, Longcross, Lyne, New Haw, Ottershaw, Row Town, Thorpe, Virginia Water and Woodham.