PAGEANT TO MARK MAGNA CARTA 800

 

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Last big pageant - for Queen's Diamond Jubilee


 

A Thames pageant will be one of the highlights of a programme of events to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

A flotilla of boats of all shapes and sizes will make its way downstream from Bisham Abbey near Marlow to Wraysbury close to Runnymede where the treaty was signed. It will take place over the weekend of Saturday June 13th an d Sunday June 14th.

The pageant will come three years after the spectacular Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the river.

Magna Carta was authenticated by the Great Seal on June 15th 1215 when English barons assembled at Runnymede to challenge the authority of King John. The exact spot where it was signed is the subject of debate.

Next year's event is being organised by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in partnership with Thames Alive and Runnymede Borough Council. Costs will be covered by sponsors and underwritten by the Royal Borough. It is thought the Royal Row Barge Gloriana will lead the flotilla.

Windsor and Maidenhead Councillor Eileen Quick, cabinet member for leisure, said: “Magna Carta is the foundation of law and democracy in many parts of the world, not just here in the United Kingdom, and the world’s eyes will be on us in June next year.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime anniversary and the river pageant will be a fabulous opportunity to celebrate it.”

'Spectacular'

Borough Councillor Christine Bateson, cabinet member for community partnerships, added: “This will be a truly spectacular event that will be available for everyone to see from the riverbank.

“The flotilla will be an added draw for British and international visitors travelling here to take part in the celebrations. So the borough benefits twice over – residents will be able to enjoy the procession down the river and there will be increased business opportunities.”

Councillor Margaret Lenton, chairman of Wraysbury Parish Council and chairman of the Royal Borough MC800 stakeholders group, said: “While the main focus will inevitably be on Runnymede, the pageant and many other events will highlight the key role in the sealing of the Magna Carta of this side of the river, especially Wraysbury.”

A calendar of events, activities and exhibitions leading up to the river pageant is being organised by libraries, the museums, schools and community groups. Further details are available, as they are added, at www.rbwm.gov.uk/web/museum_magna_carta.htm and http://magnacarta800th.com/

Story dated November 20th 2014