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Joanna Lumley marks Heathrow anniversary

Press AssociationPress Association 31/05/2016

Actress Joanna Lumley has marked Heathrow's 70th anniversary by unveiling a series of plaques featuring highlights of British culture from the past seven decades.

Since the UK's busiest airport began operation in 1946, more than 20 million flights have taken off, taking more than two billion passengers around the world.

New York, Dublin and Dubai have been the most commonly visited cities from Heathrow.

The airport has hosted many memorable moments, from the Beatles returning to the UK as superstars in 1964 to the England rugby team arriving home as World Cup winners in 2003.

In 1952 the former Princess Elizabeth stepped on to UK soil for the first time as monarch at Heathrow. Her father, King George VI, died while she was touring Kenya.

For her part, Lumley is no stranger to Heathrow.

Lumley, who turned 70 on May 1, travelled from there to Nepal in 2009 while leading the campaign to allow Gurkhas settlement rights in Britain.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: "We're very proud of the role the airport has played in millions of people's lives as well as the economic success of the UK.

"This is an occasion for everyone to celebrate how Heathrow's global connections have influenced our nation and to recognise the possibilities of those journeys yet to come."

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