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Published on : Saturday, June 13, 2015
With 2015 marking the 800th Anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, many lucky passengers on board European Waterways’ hotel barge the Magna Carta, which cruises the River Thames, are finding themselves in the middle of some of the U.K.’s most exciting commemorative events. Among its varied itinerary, the Magna Carta cruises right past the site of the sealing of the “Great Charter” at Runnymede, a bucolic water-meadow alongside river.
This weekend, Saturday and Sunday June 13 and 14, the River Thames will be the site of a grand pageant, with a flotilla of boats, led by the elaborately ornate Gloriana, the official royal row barge of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. The boats will assemble on the River Thames and make their way from the village of Hurley to Runnymede. Runnymede is synonymous with the words ‘Magna Carta’, as this was the place that King John agreed to have the document sealed 800 years ago.
As part of the celebrations on Monday, June 15, a new bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth II will be unveiled at Runnymede, showing the Queen dressed in full ceremonial attire of the Order of the Garter. Some 4,500 are expected to attend, with her Majestic the Queen among the honored guests.
The Magna Carta’s itinerary also includes a special excursion to Salisbury Cathedral to see the world’s best-preserved original copy of the famous charter that also served as the blueprint for the U.S. Constitution.
“It’s an exciting time for our guests on the Magna Carter. They’re finding themselves cruising through one of England’s most historic sites, as well as participating in some of our most exciting events commemorating ‘The Great Charter,’” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways.