The Royal Visit to Guernsey

The King and Queen are coming to Guernsey

On Monday 15 July and Tuesday 16th July the Channel Islands will play host to King Charles III and Queen Camilla, their first visit since His Majesty's Accession to the throne.

The visit will highlight the special and historic relationship between the Channel Islands and the Crown which stretches back centuries.

The Royal couple will start their visit in Jersey where the focus of the visit will be on St Helier.

It will include a special sitting of the States Assembly and the Royal Court followed by a large-scale,​ open-air exposition which will showcase the best of Jersey in one area. 

Then the King and Queen will stay overnight at Government House before travelling on to Guernsey. The visit will include a special sitting of the States of Deliberation and centuries-old ceremony of homage to His Majesty, held outdoors on the St Peter Port seafront where islanders can come to watch the events.

Their Majesties will then head to the Crown Pier to discover more about Guernsey's local environment, heritage and traditions, including ongoing work to promote Guernesiais, local food production, and biodiversity initiatives. 

Take a look back at some of the King and Queen's previous visits to the Channel Islands:

Charles in the Channel Islands
In 2012 the then Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall running under a brightly coloured Parachute during a youth rally at Saumarez Park in Guernsey, as they continue their visit to the Channel Islands. King Charles III and Queen Camilla are to pay a summer visit to the Channel Islands. They will travel to Jersey on July 15 and then to Guernsey on July 16 for the two-day whistlestop trip, the States of Jersey and Guernsey announced.

What's happening... and where:

Their Majesties will start their visit on St Peter Port seafront, where His Majesty The King will preside over a short special sitting of the States of Deliberation. There will be a 21 gun salute from the Castle Cornet as Their Majesties arrive.

The sitting of the States will include a fanfare, two verses of the National Anthem, the Lord’s Prayer (in French, reflecting the island’s heritage), and a Loyal Address given by the Bailiff as Presiding Officer of the States. The Presiding Officer role is akin to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The States sitting will be immediately followed by a Ceremony of Homage, a tradition that has historically been observed when the Monarch first visits Guernsey. The ceremony is held in French, where historic title-holders, Seigneurs and Dames of small parcels of land known as ‘Fiefs’, will pay homage to His Majesty. The Dame de Fief des Éperons will then present some ceremonial silver Spurs to His Majesty.

Special Sitting of Guernsey’s States of Deliberation

The States of Deliberation is Guernsey’s parliament. Guernsey has its own parliament, laws, judiciary, government, flag, stamps and banknotes. Records suggest that the States of Deliberation has existed in some form since the 15th Century and probably even earlier. Nowadays, it composes 40 voting members (38 democratically elected representatives for Guernsey; and 2 for Alderney, due to the fiscal relationship
between the islands). It is presided over by the Bailiff of Guernsey, attended by the Law Officers of the Crown and supported by HM Greffier (clerk) and HM Sheriff (to keep order).

It is traditional that a special sitting of the States of Deliberation is held when the Monarch visits Guernsey for the first time.

Ceremony of Homage

Guernsey’s links to the Crown stretch back centuries. The Channel Islands formally became part of the Duchy of Normandy in 933, then Normandy and England came under common rule from 1066 after the victory of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. After 1204, Guernsey pledged to remain loyal to King John of England when he lost his continental Normandy territory to the French King.

Although they no longer have the power and status that they would have had in previous centuries, there are still Seigneurs and Dames for various small parcels of lands known as ‘Fiefs’.

Their Majesties will unveil a plaque to mark their visit before touring a showcase of Guernsey culture, heritage, produce and environmental initiatives on Crown Pier.

Their Majesties will then join a tea party which will include representatives of various parts of the community including charities, school children, sport and arts.

After this, His Majesty will meet financial services industry and regulatory leaders to learn about the growth of sustainable finance. Guernsey introduced the world’s first regulated sustainable fund regimes.

At the same time, Her Majesty The Queen will tour Hauteville House, where Victor Hugo lived during his exile in Guernsey. The Queen will tour the house and meet the administrator and Honorary French Consul Odile Blanchette. At the end of the tour, Her Majesty will meet local children in the garden who will be reading some of Victor Hugo’s writing for children.

Golden Guernsey Goats

Their Majesties will then visit Les Cotils, where His Majesty will see some rare Golden Guernsey Goats before meeting delegations from Alderney and Sark who will showcase aspects of each Island’s community, culture, history and environmental projects. 

Alderney and Sark play their part

They will then meet with two separate delegations from Alderney and Sark. Alderney’s delegation, led by the President of the States of Alderney, William Tate, will include members of the States of Alderney and Court of Alderney, representatives of a number of charities and third sector groups, showcasing the island’s thriving
voluntary sector, and children from St Anne’s School who will read ‘Alderney’s Momentous Question’, which is sometimes also known as ‘the Alderney poem’ and describes the 1940 evacuation from the island in the Second World War, and the Homecoming five years later.

Sark’s Seigneur Major Christopher Beaumont will lead a delegation that also represents a broad cross-section of the island’s community. Sark school children will perform songs in the island’s native language, Sercquaise, including a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for Her Majesty. Sark’s Second World War veterans will attend as part of the delegation, as will members of the island’s emergency services and welfare system.

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