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St Albans set for weekend of Magna Carta celebrations
St Albans is set to welcome a weekend of celebrations to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
The streets will come alive when the city’s Mayor Annie Brewster leads an ornate procession on Sunday, August 4 with mayors from other Magna Carta charter towns.
The procession is part of the Magna Carta Festival celebrations, which leaves Verulamium Museum at 4.15pm and reaches St Albans Cathedral at 5pm.
Medieval musicians from the local organisation, Hertfordshire Early Dance, will accompany the procession.
Full mayoral robes will be worn by the mayors from the Magna Carta towns of Bury St Edmunds, Canterbury, the City of London, Runnymede and St Albans.
Also in the procession will be H.E. Chevalier Paul Grant KGCTJ, Grand Prior of the Knights Templar of England, and other members from the organisation.
The Mayor of St Albans Annie Brewster, said: "Please help mark the significant role St Albans has played in shaping law and politics by joining me in the City’s 800th Magna Carta anniversary this weekend.
"Witness the celebration procession in full regalia and enjoy Magna Carta themed music, historical re-enactments and plenty of family fun. I am thrilled we are welcoming the Magna Carta back to its original roots - the place where its story began.
"I find it particularly fitting, eight centuries later, that many leading legal firms have made our city their home and, as then, continue to benefit from our location within the UK."
This summer St Albans is commemorating the 800th anniversary of its unique place in the history of the Magna Carta, when it was the location of the first meeting to discuss severe grievances against King John, in August 1213.
The procession comes after the original 1215 Magna Carta, on loan from Lincoln Cathedral arrived at the cathedral yesterday with the sounds of bells and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in the air. It will on show from Saturday, August 3 to Thursday, August 29.
Residents are welcome to join the service of solemn evensong in the Cathedral at 6.30pm.This will be sung by the choir of St Paul's Episcopal Church from Rochester, New York.
The sermon will be by the Reverend Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, an authority on church history and the Magna Carta period.
This historic meeting between the barons and the clergy led ultimately to the articles that became Magna Carta, sealed at Runnymede two years later in 1215. This charter sets out fundamental human rights and continues to underpin legal systems across the world.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is also performing a special concert as part of the St Albans Magna Carta Festival Weekend in the cathedral at 7.30pm.
They will be appearing with St Albans Chamber Choir and Friends, which has a programme with the themes and spirit of the Magna Carta in mind and includes music by Holst, Beethoven, Barber, Haydn and O’Regan.
For more information visit www.enjoystalbans.com/magnacarta or contact 01727 864511.
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