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Queen joins Duke of Cambridge, David Cameron and others at Runnymede

Nicola Hine

Queen joins Duke of Cambridge, David Cameron and other dignitaries at Runnymede

More than 4,000 guests watched a programme of entertainment at Runnymede Meadow which included the rededication of the ABA Magna Carta memorial, addresses by David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and a flypast by the Red Arrows.

Following a freestyle programme of entertainment which began at 7am, the London Philharmonic Orchestra played and a procession of 80 county flags by Surrey schoolchildren was held before the first royal, Prince William, arrived at about 9.45am.

He watched the dedication of an artwork called The Jurors, by Hew Locke, and a re-enactment by giant characters related to the Magna Carta.

Just over half-an-hour after his arrival, the Duke greeted the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. They were seated at the side of the stage to watch speeches, including one by Mr Cameron.

"What happened in these meadows eight centuries ago is as relevant today as it was then. And that relevance extends far beyond Britain. All over the world, people are still struggling to live by the rule of law and to see their governments subject to that law," he said.

"Magna Carta is something every person in Britain should be proud of. Its remaining copies may be faded, but its principles shine as brightly as ever, in every courtroom and every classroom, from palace to Parliament to parish church.

"Liberty, justice, democracy, the rule of law – we hold these things dear, and we should hold them even dearer for the fact that they took shape right here, on the banks of the Thames.

"So on this historic day, let’s pledge to keep those principles alight.

"Let’s keep Magna Carta alive.

"Because – as those barons showed, all those years ago – what we do today will shape the world, for many, many years to come."

The rededication of the ABA memorial then took place, led by Princess Anne and including a speech from the US attorney general, before guests tucked into LiberTea picnics.

At 12.15pm the Red Arrows flew over the site, sending their trademark plumes of coloured smoke into the sky.

Other entertainment at the event included musicians from nearby Royal Holloway University of London, the Temple Choir and the Royal Marines band.

See this week's Express for a Magna Carta picture special, including photos from today and the River Relay which took place over the weekend.


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