King Faisal's death and an end to the UK's slave trade: Five events that happened on March 25 in history

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A celebrity split, a royal death and a mistaken flight plan – here are some of the most interesting things that happened on this day in history.

The UK officially abolished slave trade

circa 1810:  British statesman William Wilberforce (1759 - 1833) who worked for the abolition of slavery, secured legislation prohibiting the trade and was a founder of the Anti-Slavery Society. Slavery was abolished in Britain one month after his death. Original Artwork: Engraving by J Jenkins, painting by G Richmond  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
William Wilberforce (1759 - 1833) was a leader of the British movement to abolish the slave trade. Getty Images 

Year: 1807

Britain's parliament passed the Slave Trade Act, which outlawed engaging in the slave trade throughout the UK and the British colonies. While the act didn't abolish slavery, per se, merely making it illegal to carry slaves in British ships, it was hoped that the law would in turn lead to the end of the practice entirely. Slavery was finally abolished across the British empire in 1833 with the introduction of the Slavery Abolition Act.

The Rocket Man was born

Year: 1947

Reginald Kenneth Dwight, who went on to become chart-topping singer-songwriter Elton John, was born in Middlesex, England. The son of a Royal Air Force flight lieutenant and a stay-at-home mother, John released his first single in 1968 and, together with lyricist Bernie Taupin, has made more than 30 albums in his Oscar and Grammy-winning career.

His hits include the likes of Your Song, Candle in the Wind and Tiny Dancer, and he was the subject of a Hollywood biopic, Rocketman, in 2019, with Welsh actor Taron Egerton portraying the flamboyant showman.

King Faisal was assassinated

Year: 1975

King Faisal was the third king of Saudi Arabia, and widely credited with introducing modern policies and reforms to the country. The third son of King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder and first ruler of Saudi Arabia when it was formed in 1932, King Faisal ruled from 1964 until his death.

During his reign, King Faisal established the Ministry of Justice, developed plans for economic development and oversaw foreign policy. In 1975, King Faisal was shot and killed by his nephew, Faisal bin Musaid, who was convicted of regicide and later executed.

King Faisal's diplomatic mission to London in 1919, undertaken when he was just 13 years old, was in 2019 turned into the subject of the film Born a King. 

The trip was made on behalf of King Abdulaziz in order to secure the formation of Saudi Arabia, and then-Prince Faisal had to negotiate and meet with figures including Winston Churchill, Lawrence of Arabia and the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII.

Jennifer Aniston filed for divorce

09/12/99. Los Angeles, CA. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston arrive at the "51st Annual primetime EMMY Awards". Picture by DAN CALLISTER Online USA Inc
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston in 1999; they married the following year. Getty Images

Year: 2005

The Friends actress made her split from actor Brad Pitt official, citing irreconcilable differences in divorce paperwork submitted at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Aniston and Pitt first announced the end of their four-and-a-half-year marriage in January that year, saying they remained "committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another". Aniston went on to marry and subsequently divorce actor Justin Theroux, while Pitt married his Mr & Mrs Smith co-star Angelina Jolie, from whom he split in 2016.

A pilot flew 500 miles in the wrong direction after mix-up

Year: 2019

A British Airways flight headed for Dusseldorf in Germany mistakenly landed at Edinburgh Airport in Scotland, after flight paperwork was submitted incorrectly.

Passengers on board flight BA3271, which departed from London’s City Airport, only realised they were in the wrong country when the plane touched down in the Scottish capital and a "welcome to Edinburgh" announcement was made.

The jet had to remain on the tarmac until it was given clearance to fly on to Dusseldorf, where it landed more than five hours later than scheduled.