Queen Elizabeth II led celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta Monday, a charter demanding basic human rights — at a time when rights legislation is under scrutiny in the United Kingdom.
The Magna Carta — Latin for Great Charter — was signed outside London in 1215, when tyrannical King John met disgruntled barons and agreed to a list of basic rights. It’s considered the founding document of English law and civil liberties and the beginning of modern democracy.
Prime Minister David Cameron joined the queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Prince William Monday at Runnymede in Surrey — a riverside meadow near London where the document was originally signed — to mark the historic day with speeches and musical performances.
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