Cornish people in southwest England are to be recognised for the first time as a national minority group.
They will have the same rights and protections as other Celtic minorities - the Scots, Welsh and Irish.
The BBC reports government departments and public agencies will now be required to take their views into account when making decisions.
''This is a proud day for Cornwall," said Dick Cole, leader of Mebyon Kernow, which campaigns for Cornish devolution.
"Cornish people have a proud and distinct identity and a genuinely democratic society respects the ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity of people belonging to a national minority,'' said Grand Bard Maureen Fuller.
''We are proud of our history and our unique language,'' she said.