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10 Downing Street            Has been the official residence of the Prime Minister since Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister lived here in 1732.  The street was named after its builder, Sir George Downing.  The iron gates were erected for security reasons in 1989.
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Beckenham                        Prosperous suburb of Greater London. St Georges Church a 19th Century Gothic building which does claim to have the oldest lych-gate (circa 13th Cent) surviving in Britain.
Beckenham: meaning Beohha`s village.  The latter part of the name being the Olde English Ham. Recorded in the Domesday book  as Bacheham.
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Buckingham Palace         Until the 18th Century the original site was occupied by Buckingham House which was bought by George III in 1762.  When George IV acceded the throne in 1820 he commissioned John Nash to build a palace fit for a King on the same site.  Much of the original structure and decoration survives to this day.
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The British Monarchy
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Banqueting House            Completed in 1622 and designed by Indigo Jones, it was the first building in London to embody the classical Palladium style together with the use of Portland stone in the construction.  Built originally as a part of Whitehall Palace it was the only building to escape the great fire which destroyed the Palace in 1698.  The main hall is 115ft long and 60ft wide but it is the ceiling which catches the eye.  Painted by Rubens for Charles 1st in 1629-34 it depicts the Apotheoses of the Stuart Dynasty in nine panels, which should be viewed from the far end of the room.  In 1649 Charles 1st stepped out of one of the windows of the hall on his way to the scaffold erected outside in the yard, to his execution.  Ironically Charles II celebrated his restoration to the throne here 20 years later.  Still used for state banquets and official functions by the Government and the Queen.  
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British Museum                 Founded in 1753, it is the oldest museum in the world.  The original collection was started by the physician Sir Hans Sloane but over the years it as been added to many times over.  The immense hoard of artefacts spans nearly 2 million years of world history.  It is stored in 94 galleries covering over 2 miles of displays.  Some of the treasures include Egyptian mummies, the Mildenhall Saxon silver tableware found after being ploughed up in a Suffolk field in 1942, Lindow man preserved in a bog since the first century AD, pottery from Greece and Rome, Lindisfarne Gospels from the 7th Century, an original copy of Magna Carta from 1215. Together with specimens from all over the world which bring the very history of our civilisation alive.
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Cabinet War Rooms         In 1940 as the bombs rained down on London, Winston Churchill, his Cabinet, his Chiefs of Staff and intelligence chiefs were meeting below ground in a fortified basement in Whitehall, later to be known as the Cabinet War Rooms.  They offered shelter in which to work, sleep and live for as long as necessary.  When the war ended the lights were switched off and the rooms left silent and untouched for many years.  The rooms were in operational use from 27th August 1939 to the Japanese surrender in 1945 the war cabinet held more than 100 meetings in these somewhat cramped rooms.  Without doubt some of the most important decisions of the Second World War were taken here. 
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Trafalgar Square        Was formally part of the Great Mews attached to Whitehall Palace and once included part of what is now known as Charing Cross.  In 1812 architect John Nash developed the area between Charing Cross and Portland Place leaving this elegant Square, the largest in London.  It was not officially known as Trafalgar Square until 1830, having been named to celebrate the great naval victory over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
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Nelsons Column        Standing 167ft 3 inches tall, the monument to Admiral Lord Nelson, who led the British fleets to a resounding victory at the Battle of Trafalgar but unfortunately lost his own life at the same battle.  Erected in 1843 at a cost of £47,000, the Bronze lions at the base were not added until 1867.  The lions were designed by Sir Edwin Landseer who initially used a dead lion as a model for the sculptures.
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The National Gallery    Situated on the North side of Trafalgar Square, it was built between 1832-38 from a design by William Wilkins.  In 1824 Parliament accepted the idea of a national collection of pictures and voted £60,000 to buy a collection of 38 pictures from John Angerstein.  30 years later the Government decided to make a regular grant to buy more pictures and since then the gallery has built up arguably an unrivalled collection covering the period from the 13th Century to the present day.  Particularly strong in Italian, Dutch, Flemish and French art.
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Covent Garden                  Believed to have been the Convent Garden of St Peters, Westminster, where the Monks sold surplus vegetables.  In 1638 the area was very residential developed by Indigo Jones, with arcaded walks based on the Piazza D` Arme at Livorno.  In 1671 by right of charter it became a small market which gradually filled the Piazza.  In 1830 the 6th Duke of Bedford rebuilt it in its present form.  It became the largest fruit, vegetable and flower market in the country.  Since the market moved South of the river the area has been redeveloped.  Still keeping the magnificent canopy and many of the buildings from the early 1800s. the area is now well known for its restaurants, shops, market stalls and of course the Royal Opera House.  The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London Transport Museum, Theatre Museum and much, much more.
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Greenwich                                       Situated just 4 miles down river from the City of London. a boat trip down the Thames is much the best way to approach this ancient sea faring town.  Royal Greenwich dates back to the early 15th Century when it was included in the Manor of the then Duke of Gloucester.  The choice of Greenwich as the place where time began lies in the observations that John Flamsteed made of the moon and stars.  It was his findings which indirectly lead to Greenwich being accepted as longitude 0, plus the universal adoption of Greenwich Mean Time.  The town was first recorded in 964 as “Grenok” the name Greenwich meaning green harbour in Old English.
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National Maritime Museum, Greenwich         The National Maritime Museum comprises three sites: the Maritime Galleries, the Royal Observatory and the Queen's House. Together these constitute one museum working to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people.
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Royal Naval College, Greenwich         On the site of the Tudor Palace, in Greenwich,  where Margaret of Anjou lived, so did Henry VII who loved it.  Henry VIII was born there and so where his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, he married twice there and also signed the death warrant of Anne Boyleyn there.  Under Cromwell the palace fell into disrepair and it was left to Charles II with his architect John Webb to start the massive rebuilding works.  It was actually completed by Christopher Wren for William III.  It later became the Greenwich Hospital for disabled and aged navel pensioners, then in 1873 the pensioners were moved out and it became the Royal Navel College.
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Queen's House, Greenwich                The Queen's House, Greenwich, was commissioned by Anne of Denmark, wife of James I (reigned 1603–25). James was often at the Tudor Palace of Greenwich, where the Old Royal Naval College now stands – it was as important a residence of the early Stuart dynasty as it had been for the Tudors. Traditionally he is said to have given the manor of Greenwich to Anne in apology for having sworn at her in public, after she accidentally shot one of his favourite dogs while hunting in 1614.  The House was designed by Indigo Jones in 1616, work stopped in 1618 when Anne died and the first floor was thatched over.  Work was not re-started until 1629 by Charles I wife Henrietta Maria and was finally completed by 1635.  Today it is part of the National Maritime Museum
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Cutty Sark, Greenwich                      The only tea clipper still in existence, built in 1869 she worked as a merchant ship until 1922.  Her life as a tea clipper was short lived as by 1878 the steam ships using the Sues canal had taken over this trade.  She then plied the worlds oceans with many different cargo's until she started on the Wool routes from Australia to England in the late 1880's, becoming the fastest sailing ship on this route recording trips as fast as 73 days.  By the mid 1890's these routes were also taken over by the Steam ships and the Cutty Sark was sold as a merchant ship to a Portuguese company where she finished her working life.  Being brought back to the UK by a Captain Wilfred Dowman and used as a Cadet training ship and open to the public as a historic ship.  She was finally moved to her present location in 1954.  During a period of maintenance on 21st May 2007 she caught fire, but luckily received very little structural damage and is planned to be re-opened to the public in 2012.
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Old Royal Observatory, Greenwich    Built on the Greenwich Meridian, home of Greenwich Mean Time and Longitude 0 Since 1884 the world has set its clocks according to the time of day on the Meridian of Greenwich.  Take time to stand across the Prime Meridian, one foot in the East and one foot in the West.
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Hampton Court Palace    The grandest Tudor residence in England.  Built from 1514 onwards by Cardinal Wolsey as a country home, he presented it to King Henry VIII in 1525 who continued to build until 1540.  Sir Christopher Wren added extra buildings from 1689 for King William III and Queen Mary II.
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Harpenden                          A suburb of London situated just 25 North West of the Capital.  Yet a wonderful town in its own right, located in the countryside of the County of Hertfordshire. This leafy picturesque town is a picture of what we call Middle England.  The whole of the town centre is a conservation area and the High Street is lined with many listed 17th & 18th Century buildings. 
Harpenden
;      first recorded in a document of 1060 as “Herpedene” Probably from the Olde English “Herepath” meaning military road or army way.  Together with “Denu” meaning valley.  The old roman road A5 or Watling Street ran close by along the slight valley and could well have been used by the Anglo-Saxon armies and the Danes after the Romans had originally exploited it.
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Hatfield House                   Built by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury in 1611.  The state rooms are rich in paintings fine furniture and Medieval armour, throughout the house are examples of superb Jacobean Craftmanship.  Take a stroll in the gardens where the surviving wing of the old Royal Palace of Hatfield dated 1497 still stands.  Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood here and it is in the great hall where she held her first council of state in 1558 after she inherited the throne on the death of her sister Mary.  The gardens date back to the 17th Century and are considered by many to be some of the finest in Britain.
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Horse Guards Parade      The former tiltyard or jousting field of Whitehall Palace, used for the ceremony of Trooping the Colour each June to celebrate the Queens official birthday.  The Horse Guards building by which one enters the parade ground from the direction of Whitehall was reconstructed in 1750 prior to which it was the gatehouse of the Palace of Westminster.  The horse mounted guards who stand duty under two archways either side of the clock tower stand guard for just one hour at a time not all day.  The soldiers belong either to the Life Guards (red tunics & white plumes) who formed the bodyguard for Charles I or the Royal Horse Guards (blue with red plumes) who grew out of a regiment formed by Cromwell.  Both regiments now belong to the Household Cavalry which provides the Queens Bodyguard on all state occasions.
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Houses of Parliament       The present building occupies the site of the old Royal Palace.  The oldest surviving part of this palace is Westminster Hall (some of the walls dating back to 1097/99).  In 1840 Sir Charles Barry with the help of his eccentric assistant, Pugin began building the neo Gothic new house which still graces Parliament Square.  Although it was badly bombed in 1941 the Commons Chamber was completely destroyed, the new one was opened in 1950.  As you look at the palace from the square the commons are on the left and the lords on the right.  Standing a little to the left of the building is Westminster Hall.  This ancient hall is 290ft long, 68ft wide and 92ft high, it was built in 1097 by William II and modernised by Richard II in 1399.  It was here that Charles I was condemned to death in 1649, Edward II abdicated in 1327, Oliver Cromwell was installed as protector and the Guy Fawkes conspirators sentenced to death.  It was the centre of London life, a very public place in which to have sentence passed. it remains lofty, beautiful, impressive and empty, the oldest part of the palace and the most lovely.
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Imperial War Museum      Established in 1920, it has a huge pair of navel guns in front of the porch. the building once formed part of the Bethlehem Hospital for the insane known as Bedlam.  You can still see some of the upstairs windows barred.  The building was Severely damaged during the Second World War.  The museum displays model ships and other instruments of war, the museum also holds a library of war documents, books and photographs for reference.
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Kensington Palace          A Royal residence since 1689 when William III and Mary II commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to convert Nottingham House into a Royal Palace.  Since that time the palace has seen many royal and momentous events, including the birth of Queen Victoria at 4.15pm on the 24th May 1819, her first meeting with the privy council in 1837.  Part of the palace remains a private royal residence but access to many of the state apartments is allowed.
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Kew Gardens                     The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew are the worlds most famous gardens, set up as a scientific institution for the accurate identification and classification of plants and plant materials and for the distribution of botanical information to all parts of the world.  Kew is also a quarantine station for plants being sent from one country to another.  It trains botanists and gardeners for establishments all over the world, in the course of its work over many years, over 25,000 specimen plants have been assembled.  The first garden on this site belonged to Augusta, mother of George III, she lived in Kew house and in 1759 had a garden of 9 acres planted here  The garden was acquired for the state in 1841 Queen Victoria also gave property to the garden in 1898.  In 1904, the whole 300 acres of the site became the property of the state, to fulfil its scientific and popular functions.  The park now houses a tranquil temperature house with a rich collection of plants from all over the world, a rhododendron dell, landscaped by Capability Brown, the restored Japanese gateway and more than 9,000 trees throughout the gardens.
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London the Capital City of England & the United Kingdom         Within a few years of invading Britain in 43AD the Romans had built forts and towns across the land.  They linked these outposts with a number of well constructed roads, some of which had to cross a wide tidal river (Thames).  The Roman engineers eventually picked a crossing point from generally marshy ground on the South bank (with islands of firm ground) to an area on the North Bank situated on two low hills, these hills formed the highest and driest site on the tidal river.  At this point the Romans built their bridge and before long a settlement grew up on the hills and then a City took shape, the Romans called it Londinium.  The landscape that greeted the Romans now lies deep beneath the modern city, upto 8 metres deep, the reason, every new building over the past 2,000 years was built on top of the rubble of the old.
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London Eye                        Opened in January 2000 as a part of the Millennium celebrations it is 135mtrs high and is the worlds highest observation wheel.  The fourth tallest structure in London. It is 35mtrs taller than Big Ben, 30 mtrs taller than St Pauls, three times as high as Tower Bridge and a third taller than the Statue of Liberty.  The 360` rotation will take approx 30/35 minutes.  The wheel has 32 fully enclosed capsules holding up to 25 people each. From its highest point passengers can see 25 miles in each direction on a clear day.
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Museum of London          Telling the story of London from prehistoric times to the present day.  Highlights include the Lord Mayors Coach, together with artefacts, jewellery and furniture from all the periods of occupation.
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New Globe Theatre           Situated on the South bank as close as possible to the site of the original Globe Theatre stands the New Globe.  Faithfully reconstructed to the Elizabethan design using the same materials.  The Globe now stands as a fitting memorial to Shakespears work and also to the vision of the late actor/director Sam Wanamaker whose dream it was to rebuild a theatre in the round.
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River Thames                     One of the longest rivers in England at 215 miles in length, it flows from its source near Cheltenham to the sea through some of the most beautiful countryside before becoming the main artery that the wealth of Britain has been bourn.  No river can have influenced a nations destiny more, from Roman times to the present day. 
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Science museum   Shows the application of science to our lives directly and though industry.  A replica of Stephensons first locomotive The Rocket.  The evolution of the motor car.  The aeronautical exhibition and much, much more.
The South Kensington museum from which the science museum developed was founded in 1857.  It sprang from the confidence and prosperity of a generation for whom Britain`s manufacturing industry led the world
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St. Albans                            This ancient city, with narrow, twisting streets was once one of the largest and most important Roman towns in the country.  The Abbey is visible from miles around.  A British settlement existed here prior to the Roman invasion of 54A.D. by the middle of the 1st Century this settlement had become so important it was elevated to the status of Municipium, the only British city to attain such an honour, which accorded the inhabitants the right of Roman citizenship.  The remains of Verulamium were only excavated in the present century, parts of the original city walls up to 12 feet thick can be seen.  The Roman theatre (only one in Britain) has been excavated and restored, semi circular in shapes is 180 feet across and provided seats for over 1,600 people.
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St. Georges Chapel, Windsor    A sumptuous and impressive building which yet gives an effect of light and spaciousness.  The perpendicular chapel was begun by Edward IV in 1475 and completed in the reigns of Henry VII and VIII.  Many sovereigns and famous men and women lie buried here, including Charles I, Henry VIII, Jane Seymour and the present Queens Mother and father.  Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were also buried at Windsor but in the royal mausoleum at Frogmore in Home Park near the castle.
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St. Martins in the Field      The present church designed by James Gibbs was completed in 1726.  However St Martin in the Fields has been a place of worship since 1220.  The parish boundary passes through Buckingham Palace.  Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was a parishioner and the Prince of Wales although baptised in the palace his record is kept in the baptism book held in the church.  The church is renown for its choral music the organ being one of the finest in Europe.  The church plays host and is famous for its lunchtime concerts given free on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 1.05pm
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Tate Modern                       
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Victoria and Albert Museum    Founded originally as the Marlborough House Museum of Ornamental art in 1852 and then moved to South Kensington in 1857.  The present renaissance style building was designed by Sir Aston Webb and opened in 1909.  Today it constitutes the greatest collection of fine and decorative art in the world.  There is also a collection of John Constable paintings and drawings given by the Constable family.  So many galleries so much to see!
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The Temple Church London       The following few words do not do justice to this very historic place, a further read would be recommended.
The Temple Church of St Mary is not a Parish Church it is like Westminster Abbey, a Royal peculiar.  It actually serves both Middle and Inner Temple, two of England’s four ancient societies of lawyers (the Inns of Court)
The original Church was built by the Knights Templar, an order of crusading Monks founded to protect pilgrims to and from Jerusalem in the 12th Century.
It was built in two phases first of all the Nave and Porch between 1160 & 1185 followed by the Chancel between 1220 & 1240.
Much of the Church was refaced with bath stone during the two restorations in 1825 & 1841.  In 1941 the Church was severely damaged in the blitz.
The Nave is circular approx 59ft across internally, in the Templar’s tradition (with homage to the Sepulchre of Christ) and was consecrated by Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem in 1185.
The main piers are of Purbeck marble the first known architectural use of the material in London.
A new enlarged Chancel was begun in 1220 and Henry III attended its consecration in 1240
Although totally refaced the exterior is faithful to the 13th Century design
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Tower of London               Built by William the Conqueror because he did not trust his new people.  Over the years it has been a garrison, armoury, prison, royal mint and royal palace.  Among well known heads that have rolled or languished in the tower were Kings of Scotland, France and England.  Lady Jane Grey, Duke of Monmouth, Queen Elizabeth for six months, Sir Walter Raleigh and many more.  There is even a gate directly off the river called traitors gate.
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Windsor                                Dominated both in spirit and in fact, by its magnificent castle, yet the town itself is very attractive with Georgian and Victorian buildings, Church Street being one of its prettiest areas.  The parish Church of St John stands in the High Street with railings designed by Grindling Gibbons.  Nearby is the Guildhall designed at the end of the 17th Century by Sir Thomas Fitch and finished by Sir Christopher Wren.  However it is the castle that made the town and still attracts thousands and thousands of visitors every year.
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Windsor Castle                   The castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world and covers over 13 acres.  Its story starts with William the Conqueror who quickly grasped its strategic position and the advantage of a forest for hunting close by.  Since then practically every sovereign has had a hand in the building, Henry II put up the first stone buildings including the round tower, but the defences are still those built by Henry III. Edward III was born at Windsor and loved it, he enlarged the royal apartments and founded the order of the Knights of the Garter, making Windsor a centre for chivalry.  The castle is made up of three parts, the lower ward, which includes St George's chapel, the upper ward in which lie the state apartments and the middle ward where the enormous round tower gives wonderful views over 12 counties.
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Westminster hall                This ancient hall is 290ft long, 68ft long and 92ft high.  It was built in 1097 by William II and modernised by Richard II in 1399.  It was here that Charles I was condemned to death in 1649.  Edward II abdicated in 1327.  Oliver Cromwell was installed as protector and the Guy Fawkes conspirators sentenced to death.  It was the centre of London life, a very public place in which to have sentence passed.  It remains lofty, beautiful, impressive and empty, the oldest part of the palace and the most lovely.
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Westminster Abbey                          Legend has it that the first Church built on Thorney Island in the Thames was built by King Segbert in the 7th Century, there is also mention of a Charter from King Offa of Mercia to the people of Westminster granting land.  We also have a Charter from King Edgar in the 10th Century for the restoring of the Benedictine Abbey.  It is also written that a substantial foundation existed in Westminster when King Edward the Confessor became King in 1042.  We do know that Edward started to build a Church here close to the previous building and it was consecrated on 28th December 1065.  Eight days later Edward died and he was buried in front of the high altar.
William the Conqueror was crowned in that Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. this Coronation began a tradition and all Kings and Queens of England (Britain) with the exception of Edward V & Edward VIII have been crowned in the Abbey since that date.
Work began in 1245 in rebuilding the Abbey. The work proceeded rapidly and by 1269 the Quire and one bay of the Nave was completed.  At this time the body of St Edward was removed and laid to rest in a Chapel bearing his name.  In 1272 Henry III died and his body was buried in the front of the high alter where Edward`s had once lain.
The complete history of this famous Abbey would take many pages to write, hence it is possibly to conclude by saying “many Kings and Queens together with famous people lie buried within its walls and therefore this one building is a unique testament to 1,000 years of the history of the British people”.

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