Afternoon tea parties celebrate Magna Carta 800th year

Painting of King John Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Magna Carta was sealed by King John at Runnymede in 1215

Afternoon teas will be held to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

People are being asked to host "LiberTeas" on 14 June - the day before the anniversary - and to take a moment to reflect on their liberties.

The first 400 people to register will be invited to celebrations on 15 June when thousands of guests including the Queen will gather at Runnymede.

Magna Carta outlined basic rights under the principle that nobody, including the King, was above the law.

The National Trust, which is organising the LiberTeas event with the Houses of Parliament and Surrey County Council, said events could include anything from lectures to street parties but must include tea.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The £1m Gloriana led the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant in 2012

The afternoon teas on 14 June will coincide with a river pageant that will see hundreds of boats, including the royal barge Gloriana, sail down the Thames to arrive at Runnymede at about 14:45 BST.

Runnymede council chief executive Paul Turrell said about 5,000 people were expected at Runnymede Pleasure Grounds.

Attractions include a re-enactment, children's entertainment, jousting and medieval food.

Mr Turrell said more than 100 volunteers were needed to help keep the event safe. Those people will be invited to a mayor's reception that evening.

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