The four surviving original Magna Carta copies go on display together for the first time from Monday as Britain kicks off 800th anniversary celebrations for a contract with global significance.
Considered the cornerstone of liberty, modern democracy, justice and the rule of law, the 1215 English charter forms the basis for legal systems around the world, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the US constitution.
A total of 1,215 people, drawn from a ballot, have won the chance to see the unification at the British Library, which is bringing together its two originals with those of Lincoln and Salisbury cathedrals from Monday to Wednesday.
The four parchments will also be on private show in parliament on Thursday, kicking off a year of celebrations for a document that still has resonance eight centuries on.
"No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseized or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go and send against him except by the lawful judgement of his peers by the law of the land," it states in Latin.
"To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice.