So, we're back at Royal Holloway and now we're going to hear from Stephen Franklin a PhD researcher in the Department of History about how the Magna Carta anniversary commemoration has changed the landscape at Runnymede. So Steven, what have been some of the physical changes that we've seen take place at Runnymede since the anniversary? So, I think we could probably characterize the changes very simply in two ways. Firstly, the addition of some signage. Prior to 2015, Runnymede was branded as the birthplace of modern democracy and then overnight it morphed into the place of politics and picnics since 12,15. Secondly, and probably most importantly, has been the addition of three new memorials or public artworks depending on who you talk to and which specific installation you're referring to, that has really ensured that Runnymede is a monumental landscape. So briefly, the first monument, which I would say is a traditional monument in both its form and the manner in which it celebrates Magna Carta, is a statue of Queen Elizabeth II that is erected on the bank of the River Thames. The second one is a public art installation designed by Hew Locke and that was actually unveiled as part of the 2015 commemorative event. Then lastly, the last piece of public art was unveiled this year in 2018 on the 803rd anniversary of Magna Carta designed by Mark Wallinger, it's called Written Water and it is the latest of the memorials and artworks that now populate Runnymede. They refer to these as public artworks. Of course, in one sense they are because they're all freely accessible to the public but also when we talk about public artwork there's an association in terms of public money perhaps supporting those. Can you tell us a little bit about the genesis of these free installations and how they were funded? Yes. So, the first memorial was the statue of the queen. It'll be easy to say that it was an act of benevolence. Runnymede Borough Council was approached by a non-for-profit charity, Magna Carta legacy who requested that they provide a lasting monument to celebrate and commemorate Magna Carta's 800th anniversary. Runnymede Borough Council obviously don't actually own Runnymede the field, the meadows, however, they do have a plot of land a little bit down the way that they enabled Magna Carta Legacy to erect their statute. It was funded by donations from members of the public and so therefore no public money was actually spent which in an age of austerity was probably quite appealing. I think the issue with it was maybe the disconnect that existed between quite clearly a statue of Queen Elizabeth II who conveniently within that year had also become Britain's longest reigning monarch with Magna Carta. I think it really characterize the manner in which Magna Carta's legacy is very [inaudible] and can be read in numerous and a multitude number of ways. This specific memorial was designed as to represent the way in which Magna Carta started our journey towards constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth being apparently the perfect embodiment of the constitutional monarch. Surrounding the statute of Queen Elizabeth, you have a timeline on the one side of monarchs from William the Conqueror to the present day. On the other side of this timeline, key constitutional moments. A way of connecting two narratives, you might say, that of the monarchy and that of constitutional history. I think we have a propensity in Britain to celebrate our monarch, our royalist history. You only need to look at the numbers of people going to Hampton Court, Windsor Castle as evidence of that but maybe we're potentially a little bit lazy in appreciating our constitutional history. So, that's the first memorial. The second installation was the Jurors designed by Hew Locke and funded largely by Surrey County Council. Rough estimates place the artwork at around half a million pounds which is by no means an insignificant figure and especially given austerity. However, this takes a very different approach to Magna Carta and its legacy. It's takes a far more total approach to the idea of Magna Carta. It focuses purely on clause 39, which is the trial by jury clause so no one will deny it and [inaudible] et cetera. It is made up of 12 bronze chairs of which is designed to signify the meeting place. The artist, Hew Locke, wanted the installation to be something that visitors could physically interact with. So, the idea of the chair is that people visiting Runnymede could sit on the chairs and discuss modern rights, democracy, ideas that have now been attributed to Magna Carta and the revolution. I think one of the clever things about this installation is the manner in which he uses the front and the backs of the chairs as individual canvases. So, 12 chairs, he has effectively 24 canvases to which he depicts moments throughout global history that is. So, we are not limiting ourselves to Britain or even transatlantic history. This is, moments have been taken from ancient China from India, to really fully explore the evolution of rights. Just to give you an example or a couple of examples, Magna Carta is obviously one of the scenes depicted but he also has the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela as a theme that is being explored. Lilian Lenton, the suffragette, is also captured. Equally, the issue of environmental rights is bought into it with the sinking of the Exxon Valdez in 1989 and the oil spill that resulted as a consequence. Interestingly, and you would have noticed, that I continually used the words public art when referencing the jurors. This is deliberate. Hew himself describes his installation as a piece of public art, and rather nicely, poetically you might say, he says that this piece of art is only ever complete when you have 12 people sitting around or sitting on the installation, debating not only the issues presented around them but also issues more abstractly, though more contemporary that relates to issues of the day. So, lastly, the latest piece of public art is by Mark Wallinger. It's called Writ in Water, funded by the National Trust with money from the arts council as well. It's probably the most abstract in the way in which it deals with Magna Carta and its legacy. It is essentially a building with a hole in its roof. At the bottom, you have a pool, an infinity pool, you cannot see the bottom. Reflected with it on the water is Clause 39. It's very much a space of contemplation in which visitors are invited to reflect on the legacy and potential ways forward in which the potential direction of human rights from now forwards. Interestingly, all three of the installations, memorials that I've spoken about, you wouldn't say helped to educate members of the public or potential visitors. They show off and they demonstrate particular views of Magna Carta, particular ways of maybe conceptualizing Magna Carta and its history. But you won't get a complete total idea of Magna Carta in its quite complicated history from these. These are contemplative, these are spaces designed to essentially evoke reflection. So, you've mentioned the contested history and legacy of Magna Carta and how that's particularly problematic in the case of the statue of Queen Elizabeth II, that potential disconnect between the idea of the one version of Magna Carta being the milestone on the road to constitutional monarchy, whereas for some people, Magna Carta is a key moment in protest against monarchy. Can you tell us a little bit about how that's not true in particular. Was it received by the public? I think it'd be fair to say that that particular statue had the biggest public backlash. Despite the manner in which it was funded, no council taxpayers money was used to fund it. It was the most controversial. I think it was controversial in the way that it was almost forced upon people in the anniversary year. There was a public consultation, and the consultation itself was given very small amount of publicity. It was hidden in the depths of the council's website. In the anniversary year in which we should have been celebrating democracy and the rights of people in equality, it felt that people's voices were actually been ignored. A fervor bone of contention amongst public directed towards the statue of Queen Elizabeth, was actually how she's presented. I think it's fair to say that it's a very idealized presentation of Elizabeth. She's a lot younger than she is now, which is in itself a problem. There's also what she's wearing. She is depicted with a crown, but she's also wearing the garter robes. Now, any royalist expert would tell you that actually those two don't go together. So, in that sense it was also a misrepresentation of monarchy. Then lastly, we had what the statute was originally intended for. This was actually a statue that had been constructed or created two years previously for Elizabeth's Jubilee. There was a certain amount of repurposing going on here. I think members of the public were aware that actually they were somewhat being duped. We were trying to use a statue that was originally intended for something else and repurposing it for Magna Carta's anniversary, and in a year where we should have been celebrating democracy, and equality, and everyone's voice being heard and counted. That backlash really wasn't taken very seriously. It certainly didn't stop the project from going ahead. In contrast, Hew Locke's, The Jurors, I would say, has been largely critically acclaimed. It is really truly quite an impressive piece of artwork. But I also think the public have really taken to it, embraced it and now see it as a feature of Runnymede much as Hew intended. If you were to drive past Runnymede early on a winter's morning, you see the tops of the chairs emerge ghostly from the layer of mist. It really does invite observers to think about what 1215 might have been. Then for those visitors on the actual meadows themselves, it plays upon humans' natural tendency to investigate, touch, play with, and also sit on. So, in that sense, it really has added something to the meadows at Runnymede. It's probably too early to judge the public's reaction to Writ in Water having only really be unveiled earlier this year. But I also think it suffers from the fact that it has been unveiled three years after the landmark anniversary. It's not quite as impressive unveiled on the 803rd anniversary. We really do like round numbered anniversaries. They sound impressive, they sound grand, they sound significant. They are important. Whilst I'm not devaluing the latest contribution to the material form of commemoration, I think three years later, there's a certain amount of Magna Carta tiredness potentially. Thank you.