Windsor walk and London march

Last November, on Armistice Day, it was a crisp autumnal day, and the sky was blue for the start of a group walk from Datchet to Windsor.

We saw a monument and statues for the Magna Carta, which is a royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215. Its purpose was to create a peace agreement between the unpopular king and some rebellious barons. The charter declared that the monarch (or a government) was not above the law and spelt out the rights of “free men”.

The charter was eventually annulled by the Pope but reissued in 1217 (after editing), where it acquired the name “Magna Carta”. Subsequent monarchs reissued the charter.

Although almost none of the Magna Carta is enshrined in current British law, it influenced legal rights around the world. It was a forerunner of the British Parliament and, in the US, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

On my way home, I got off the train at Vauxhall Station to switch to the London Underground. The tube station turned out to be shut because there was a pro-Palestinian march earlier in the day. The crowd around the station consisted of young and old, from diverse backgrounds. I later learnt 300,000 people had marched.

The Magna Carta had a tenuous link to the controversial march. Some people felt the march was disrespectful because it was Armistice Day/Remembrance Sunday and others felt they had a right to peaceful protest. The Magna Carta was written over 800 years ago but there are still disputes about what are the fundamental rights of people.

Leave a Reply