The Magna Carta – celebrating 800 years of the democratic legacy

Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, the day that the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence. In that document, we declared that our colonies were no longer part of Great Britain.

Farewell, Britain – you deal with us on our terms now!

Since that time, America has blossomed into The United States, stretching from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific ocean. We are now allies with the United Kingdom and even refer to the alliance as the “Special relationship”. It is indeed unique for a former colony to become even bigger than its mother country, even equalling them in economic and military might.

King John of England signing Magna Carta on Ju...

King John of England signing Magna Carta on June 15, 1215, at Runnymede; coloured wood engraving, 19th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The one question is: would it have all been possible without the Magna Carta?

June 15th, 2015 marked the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The Great Charter was signed by King John to appease his rebellious barons in the midst of battle. Eight centuries later, its enduring legacy has transformed countries all over the world. It outlined the basic rights of man and established that no one was above the law, including the king. It heralded a major shift in the balance of power between the monarch and his people.

Celebrating the events this summer were the staff and students at the Magna Carta School. Below, their celebration of the Great Charter’s 800 years.

We began the Anniversary year with an invitation to visit Number 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister and other government ministers. As the only school in the UK with the name Magna Carta, as well as being located in the heart of Runnymede, we had already caught the attention of ministers due to our work on Magna Carta. It was a fantastic opportunity for both students and teachers to be present at the official launch of the Anniversary year.

Our students and teachers have also been working with the National Archives and Egham Museum to help develop teaching resources on Magna Carta for all age groups in schools. While students and teachers attended the events at Runnymede on 15th June, others were guests of Discovery Education at the official launch of the National Assembly on Magna Carta, which our students had helped to create. We were also fortunate to be invited to the House of Lords to witness the launch of the online teaching resource first hand.

Our students have participated in a national project to draft a modern version of Magna Carta, working with the UK’s Supreme Court and Judge Neuberger. Our clauses can now be seen in this new document, which can be seen by students across the UK and USA.

Students within our Art and Textiles Departments have worked with a highly skilled team of artists to help produce the wonderful tapestries depicting the events of 1215, currently on display at Royal Holloway University.

We are thrilled that our Drama and Dance students played such an integral role in the events of 15th June and had the opportunity to meet the Duke of Cambridge and other guests.

Our school has been gripped by the spirit of the Anniversary and we have seen it as an opportunity to feature important aspects in both lessons and assemblies. We have a permanent reminder of our commitment to the Anniversary, with 25 shields, each measuring 1 metre in height, and depicting a modern interpretation of the emblems of the 25 Barons present at the sealing of Magna Carta, displayed along the front of our school.

Thanks to Tim Smith, Head of the Magna Carta School. Find them at www.magnacarta.surrey.sch.ukand on Twitter as @MagnaCartaHead and @MagnaCartaSch

The Magna Carta: 800 Years

By Sunday, February 22, 2015 0 Permalink

I had the honor of seeing this amazing copy of the Magna Carta at the Boston Museum of Fine Art last August. It is awe-inspiring to think of what happened at the historic Battle at Runnymede while looking at the document.

June 15th, 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The Great Charter was signed by King John to appease his rebellious barons in the midst of battle. Eight centuries later, its enduring legacy has transformed countries all over the world. It outlined the basic rights of man and established that no one was above the law, including the king. It heralded a major shift in the balance of power between the monarch and his people.

The Magna Carta was the gold standard followed by the Founding Fathers as they drafted the Declaration of Independence. In honor of this link, the copy of the Magna Carta seen in Boston’s MFA was shown alongside a silver Sons of Liberty bowl, crafted by the legendary Paul Revere.

It’s an incredibly historic year. Join me here at The Royal Representative for news and events throughout the Magna Carta celebrations!

Royal News: The Magna Carta and More PT 1 & 2

This is RoyaltyNow! news. This episode Royal News: The Magna Carta and More was accidentally divided into two 15 minute chunks. The show is a half-hour long and somehow, some way, was set to a default 15 minute show. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for sticking with me through the program! Part 2 is included below.

More News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with RoyaltyNow News on BlogTalkRadio

More News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with RoyaltyNow News on BlogTalkRadio

Magna Carta Conservation Treatment

1297 copy of the Magna Carta, purchased by the...

Image via Wikipedia

The Magna Carta (in English, “The Great Charter”) is the guarantee of English liberty granted by King John at Runnymede on June 15, 1215. Under pressure from his feudal barons, the king was made to sign this document to limit his powers by law.

It essentially stated that the king’s will was not arbitrary, and no one could be punished except through the law of the land, a right which is still in existence today. It laid the groundwork for the United States Constitution.

Below, National Archives conservators discuss the weeks of work spent on the conservation treatment of the Magna Carta, the first phase of a major project leading its re-encasement and public display. This particular document was written on parchment in 1297, one of 17 surviving versions of Magna Carta in the world today.

The full translation of the Magna Carta can be found at the National Archives.

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