Royal Oak is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 57,236.The city is located along the Woodward Corridor, and Interstate 75 and Interstate 696 also pass through Royal Oak. As a northern suburb of Metro Detroit, the city is about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the city of Detroit. Portions of the Detroit Zoo are within Royal Oak, extending into neighboring Huntington Woods. Early Europeans in this area near Fort Detroit in the 18th century were mostly French Canadians; some traded with the Sauk, Huron, and other Native Americans in the area. After defeating France in the Seven Years’ War, Great Britain took control of their territory east of the Mississippi River, including Fort Detroit and environs.
After the American Revolutionary War, Britain promoted development of what was then called Upper Canada and Province of Quebec, across the Detroit and St. Clair rivers to the south and east. Royal Oak was not incorporated as a village until 1891, and as a city in 1921. It was named in 1819, during one of the surveying expeditions led by Territorial Governor Lewis Cass. A large oak tree at this small settlement reminded Cass of the story of the Royal Oak, where King Charles II of England was said to have hid to escape capture by the Roundheads after the Battle of Worcester. Cass named the settlement after that, several years after the United States had fought Great Britain across the northern border in the War of 1812.
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