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Jan6 Michael Burgess, Coroner of the Queen's Household formally opens two separate inquests into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, six years after the couple died in a car crash in Paris. 
Jan8 The British-owned, French-built, RMS Queen Mary 2, the new flagship of the Cunard fleet and the largest, longest, tallest, widest and most expensive passenger ship ever,(£550 million) was christened with a jeroboam of Veuve Clicquot champagne by the Queen in Southampton "I name this ship Queen Mary 2. May God bless her, and all who sail in her." She had performed the same ceremony in 1967 at the launching of the Queen Elizabeth 2. She made her maiden transatlantic voyage four days later to Florida

Harold Shipman, Britain's most prolific serial killer was found hanging from the bars of his cell in Wakefield Jail. The former GP, who murdered at least 215 of his patients, is believed to have committed suicide by making a noose from his bedsheets. Shipman, showed no remorse for the killings he began as a newly-qualified GP in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and continued until his arrest in Hyde in September 1998. He was cremated after a formal inquest

Jan27 The Higher Education Bill was given a second reading in the House of Commons  by 316 votes to 311. The introduction of "top-up fees" ensures that class and division will continue to permeate UK higher education for many years to come  
Feb7 19 Chinese immigrants drown in Morecombe Bay whilst farming for cockles - a "multi-agency" approach to the tragedy is initiated

French MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban the wearing of religious symbols in schools - the law aims to safeguard secularism in schools and prevent education being used as a political tool by minority ethnic and religious groups.


Over 400 people were killed when an earthquake struck northern Morocco, destroying hundreds of stone and mud-brick houses. Villages in the Rif mountains near the Mediterranean city of Al Hoceima were worst hit, with one, Ait Kamara, where 6,000 people live, destroyed. The quake measured 6.5 on the Richter scale and its epicentre was in the Mediterranean 100 miles north-east of Fez

James Hayter, 24, who plays for Bournemouth in Division Two, scored the quickest ever hat-trick in English Football -  three goals in 140 seconds -  after coming on as a substitute in the 84th minute against Wrexham

Trooper Christopher Finney, 19 became the youngest ever recipient of the George Cross after being decorated by the Queen for risking his life to save a colleague during the battles in Iraq. Trooper Finney, from Marple, Greater Manchester, was 18 when he pulled his gunner to safety from a blazing vehicle under attack from US aircraft. Despite being wounded, he then tried to save a second soldier. His award is the highest for acts of conspicuous gallantry performed when not in the face of the enemy. Despite being wounded, he then tried to save a second soldier. His award is the highest for acts of conspicuous gallantry performed when not in the face of the enemy.


Antoni Imiela was given seven life sentences at Maidstone Crown Court for a year-long campaign of rape between November 2001 and October 2002.. The jury unanimously found him guilty of raping four women and three girls, aged from 10 to 52. Imiela was also given sentences totalling 29 years for abducting, sexually assaulting and attempting to rape another girl of 10 in a five-hour ordeal. His arrest in November 2002 brought to an end Operation Orb, the largest sex crime manhunt since the search for the Yorkshire Ripper over 20 years ago 


Nine Leicester City footballers are held by police in Cartagena Spain yesterday after allegations of rape and sexual assault by three women who claimed the players broke into their hotel room in La Manga. Three of the players were held for six nights before being bailed 

Mar10  Greg Rusedski, 30, was exonerated of deliberately taking the banned stimulant nandrolone. Rusedski  had argued before an anti-doping tribunal that the drug was contained in supplements supplied by the Association of Tennis Professionals, the sport's ruling body, and therefore he was not at fault. 

A series of simultaneous bomb explosions tore through four packed Madrid commuter trains at the height of the morning rush-hour leaving at least 198 people dead and over 1200 injured. It was one of Europe's worst terrorist atrocities. The Spanish government immediately accused the Basque terrorist group Eta but it was shown to be the work of al-Qa'eda. The cell responsible for the attack were seen to be Islamic Fundementalists

Mar 14

Five glorious ducks and the West Indies all out for 47 in the second innings. England win the first test in Sabina Park in Kingston by by 10 wickets with Steve Harmison, the 25-year-old Durham fast bowler taking seven wickets for twelve runs. For the West Indies it was their lowest recorded in a Test innings. 

Spain's socialists defeats the conservative government in the Spanish general election The latter's policy on Iraq and its conduct following the Madrid train bombings, in which 200 people were killed and 1,400 injured caused widespread resentment and disenchantment
Mar28 Eire, citing the "health and safety in the workplace" mantra, bans smoking in the workplace. Shame they can't do the same with an even bigger threat to health, stress 

Andrejez Kunowski, 48, who had convictions for 17 rapes, eight attempted rapes and one attempted murder in Poland was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of murdering a 12-year-old Macedonian girl Katerina Koneva in London. He was told that he would never be released

Apr12 Brian Lara breaks the World Test Batting record for a second time in 10 years. The West Indies captain hit 400 not out against England in Antigua in the fourth and final Test match to wrest the record back from Matthew Hayden's 380 (Australia v Zimbabwe in October 2003). Lara first broke the record on the same ground a decade ago, when he hit 375 against England. Despite his efforts, the West Indies lost the Series 3 - 0, the first time England had won a Series in the Caribbean for 36 years.

Terry's, the makers of the Chocolate Orange, announce that it was moving its factory overseas, ending more than 200 years of production in Britain. More than 300 jobs will be lost when Terry's closes its factory and warehouse in York and moves to sites in Sweden, Belgium, Poland and Slovakia. Terry's was owned by the US company Kraft


Ron Atkinson makes a series of racist remarks on air about Chelsea's French defender Marcel Desailly after a Champions League game against Monaco. As a result he lost his job as a pundit for ITV, his twice-weekly column in The Guardian and a major sponsorship deal with Britvic.

May14 Piers Morgan is sacked as the editor of the Daily Mirror as the newspaper's board made an unreserved apology for publishing fake pictures of British troops torturing Iraqi prisoners

Arsenal in winning the F.A. Premiership title celebrated the first defeat-free season enjoyed by a top flight English football club for 115 years The previous club to achieve this tremendous feat was Preston North End "The Invincible"s in 1889


Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States between 1981 and 1989, died aged 93 at his home in Bel-Air, California He had suffered from the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's Disease during the last decade of his life . He was given a state funeral on 11th June

June6 In a series of events and ceremonies held in Normandy to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the D-Day landings, The Queen bade a last farewell to the D-Day generation. She told those servicemen who sixty years ago put their duty before themselves that they would eternally be owed an 'immense debt of gratitude' 

The pickled heart of Louis XVII, the youngest son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette was buried in the royal crypt at Saint-Denis 209 years to the day after the boy died, aged 10, from tubercolosis. The heart was encased in a glass egg, and in size and appearance, resembled a dried mushroom

June8 The Transit of Venus begins at about 0620 BST (0520 GMT). Venus transits occur approximately four times in 243 years, more precisely in pairs of events separated by about eight years and these pairs are separated by about 120 years. The reason for these long intervals lies in the fact that the orbits of Venus and the Earth do not lie in the same plane and a transit can only occur if both planets and the Sun are situated exactly on one line. This has happened only six times in the telescopic age: in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874 and 1882. So, the next will be in 2012, but the one after that will be in 2117. 
June10  Postal voting is introduced in certain areas of the U.K. during this years  Local and European Elections It is seen as a belated attempt to encourage more electors to vote. The actual voting form and procedure was complicated. 
June13  Lisbon Euro 2004 - England 1 France 2 - England suffered an agonising 2-1 defeat by France after they conceded two injury-time goals in their opening Euro 2004 match in Portugal.
June16 16 June 1904 was ‘Bloomsday’ – the day that Leopold Bloom (the central figure of James Joyce’s Ulysses) spent roaming Dublin, his wanderings parodying those of Ulysses in The Odyssey. In the course of the day Bloom dropped into Davy Byrne’s ‘moral pub’ in Duke Street for lunch - a glass of burgundy and a gorgonzola sandwich. 
June18 European leaders sign the European Union's  first constitution in Brussels.  Despite deep divisions between Britain, France and Germany over the future of Europe and the fact that a majority of the electorate are hostile to it, Tony Blair  signs and relinquishes even more of Britain's sovereignty to a non-elected bureaucracy.
July4 Greece beat the hosts Portugal 1 - 0 in the final of Euro 2004 in Lisbon. It is the first major trophy for the Greeks who started the tournament as outsiders
Aug16 Boscastle, Cornwall - More than two inches of rain, the average for the whole of August, fell in less than two hours, turning the River Valency into a torrent that swept away two buildings and left a trail of destruction throughout the town
Aug22 In the women's Olympic Marathon (Athens), Paula Radcliffe (GB) , having led for much of the race, suddenly stopped running at the 36km mark (22.37 miles) of the 42km race. She broke down in tears and collapsed to the ground in despair.

Jonathan Rees-Williams55, the Queen's former organist at Windsor Castle, whose responsibilities included organising music to celebrate royal occasions, was jailed for five years at Reading  after being found guilty of sexually abusing children over a period of nearly 30years


After a 53 hour siege by Chechen terrorists at Beslan First school  in the republic of North Ossetia's , a massacre occurs leading to the deaths of over 350 people, including 156 children. In addition a further 434 wounded hostages were taken to hospital, including 247 children and 85 adults in  critical conditions. The death toll was exacerbated by the intervention of Russian security forces but the murders were due solely to the hostage takers .

Oct6 Michael Fish, the BBC weatherman retires from broadcasting after charting Britain's climate for more than 30 years
Oct19 Former DJ Mike Read's production of Oscar Wilde (he wrote produced and directed it) closed after its press night at the Shaw Theatre, King's Cross, London. Described as "bilge", "leaden dross" "a pitiful vanity project" and "a musical of exquisite awfulness", Read  pulled the plug, thereby achieving the distinction of hosting London's shortest-lived musical ever. (Only five of the theatre's 466 seats had been sold for the second show the next day). 
Nov3 US President George W Bush wins a second term in office after the Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry conceded. President Bush won 51% of the popular vote
Dec2 David Bieber, a former US marine will spend the rest of his life behind bars, after being found guilty of the murder of Leeds traffic policeman Ian Broadhurst and the attempted murder of two of his colleagues on Boxing Day 2003 
Dec15 David Blunkett, the Sheffield MP for Brightside and Home Secretary resigns when an official inquiry uncovers an e-mail showing that he had, after earlier denials, intervened in fast-tracking a visa application lodged by his lover’s nanny. 



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