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‘Spectacular’ river pageant for Magna Carta celebrations

19th November 2014

Categories: News

A ‘spectacular’ river pageant will be the highlight of the Royal Borough’s 800th anniversary celebrations of the sealing of the Magna Carta next year.

A flotilla of boats of all shapes and sizes will make its way downstream from Bisham Abbey to Wraysbury over the weekend of Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June.

Cllr Eileen Quick, cabinet member for leisure and libraries, 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.”

Cllr 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.”

The pageant is being organised in partnership with Thames Alive – which helped to organise the Queen’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in 2012 – and Runnymede Borough Council. Costs will be covered by sponsors and underwritten by the Royal Borough.

Cllr 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 Ankerwycke in Wraysbury.”

An action-packed calendar of events, activities and exhibitions leading up to the river pageant is being organised by libraries, the Windsor & Royal Borough Museum, 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/

In June 1215 English barons assembled at Runnymede to challenge the authority of King John and on the 15th the Magna Carta was authenticated by the Great Seal.

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