Beatles in, Queen Victoria out: The 50 key dates in British history

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The country's longest-serving monarch is among the most controversial omissions from the list, which sets out to encapsulate the things every Briton should know about their nation's past.

Compiled by the History Channel, the list includes crucial dates in our islands' story such as the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, the execution of Charles I in 1649 and Nelson's victory at Trafalgar in 1805.

They are listed alongside such less-obvious events as the building of the Red House by the artist and architect William Morris in 1859, the creation of the FA Rule Book in 1863, Gandhi's visit to Britain in 1931, the miners' strike of 1984 and the completion of the Channel Tunnel in 1991.

The list will form the basis of a five-part television series, 50 Things You Need to Know About British History, which is sponsored by Telegraph Media Group. The first weekly installment will be at 9pm on Sunday 7 September.

Prominent individuals who are honoured with a place on the list include Alfred the Great, Charles Darwin, Shakespeare and explorer David Livingstone. There are entries for 'swinging 60s and the Beatles' and 'Monty Python and British humour'.

But there is no room for Boadicea, Sir Frances Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Captain Cook, Florence Nightingale, Sir Alexander Fleming, Sir Winston Churchill or Queen Elizabeth II.

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