is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a suburb of Detroit. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 60,062. It should not be confused with Royal Oak Charter Township, a separate community located nearby. It is the 5th largest city in Oakland County and the 18th largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan.
The images pictured at right are (from top, clockwise) downtown Royal Oak looking north towards 11 Mile Road, the National Shrine of the Little Flower church, the Rackham Memorial Fountain at the Detroit Zoo, and the Woodward Dream Cruise.
Royal Oak was incorporated as a village in 1891, and as a city in 1921. The city's name originates in 1819, from one of Territorial Governor Lewis Cass' expeditions surveying land. A tree located near the present day intersection of Crooks, Rochester, and Main reminded Cass of the Royal Oak tree within which King Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester.
In the 1920s, Charles Coughlin became Father of Shrine of the Little Flower, a prominent landmark in the city. In 1926, the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross on the lawn of the original wooden church, and Coughlin used the incident to launch radio broadcasts on station WJR. Through this publicity he raised enough money to build the current limestone complex and tower from which he aired his radio show thereafter. He built a large following; however, in the late 30s Coughlin's broadcasts became increasingly controversial eventually leading to his removal from the air in 1939.
On November 14, 1991, Thomas McIlvane killed five people, including himself, with a Ruger .22 caliber rifle in Royal Oak's post office, which was one of a string of incidents across the United States in which current or recently fired postal workers attacked and killed co-workers en masse, leading to the phrase "going postal."
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Royal Oak's downtown grew into an entertainment and nightlife destination. A number of large condominiums and lofts were built throughout the downtown and industrial areas. Though the economy took a downturn in 2006, the area remains an attractive area for young professionals and families.