The Queen attends 800 years of the Magna Carta ceremony

HER Majesty Queen Elizabeth attended today a ceremony marking the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta in Runnymede.
It was 800 years ago in Runnymede that King John was forced by the Barons to sign a document that brought about many of the rights and freedoms in society that we know today.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who was also in attendance, said that the charter of 1215 proceeded to, “alter forever the balance of power between the governed and the government.”
The overall purpose of the Magna Carta was to lay down the fact that no man was above the law, not even the king – all are equal under the law, and all can be held to account. Ideas such as the right to trial by jury were also born out of it.
Most of its 63 articles deal with the administration of justice, but clauses 38 and 39 concern liberty, where in no man could be arrested, imprisoned or have their possessions taken away except by “the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”
Although 13 copies were originally thought to have been made, only four are still in existence. A copy of the Great Charter was escorted by a flotilla of 200 boats along the river Thames led by the Royal Barge Gloriana on Saturday as part of the celebrations.
Events are also being held around the country to mark the occasion, including Salisbury Cathedral.

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