Queen Elizabeth II was the longest reigning monarch in British history, being head of state from February 1952 until her death in September 2022.
On 8th September 2022, it was with great sadness that His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor received official notification from Buckingham Palace of Her Majesty The Queen's death. The Bailiwick of Guernsey observed the period of National Mourning, which lasted until the end of the day of the State Funeral on 19th September 2022.
In order to mark the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II a number of events took place in Guernsey:
- Gun Salute at Castle Cornet - with one round fired for each year of Her Majesty's life - Friday 9th September
- Special States Meeting as a tribute to Her Majesty - Friday 9th September - there are links to the statements made by the Bailiff and by the President, Policy & Resources Committee
- Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at the Town Church - Saturday 17th September - an order of service [1Mb] was produced for service
- Public holiday on the day of The Queen's funeral - Monday 19th September
- One minute silence to join in the national moment of reflection (day before the funeral - 18th September 2022) and a two-minute silence on the day of the funeral - 19th September 2022
- Public live screening of The Queen's funeral at Saumarez Park
Official condolence message
Official condolence message from the Bailiwick:
"We, the Lieutenant-Governor and the Bailiff of Guernsey, the Deputy Bailiff, the Royal Court and the States of Guernsey, the President and the States of Alderney, the Seigneur and the Chief Pleas of Sark, and all the people of this Bailiwick with humble duty beg leave to offer to His Majesty The King and His family our respectful and sincerest sympathy on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose long and loyal reign stands as an inspiration to us all. Her Majesty will always be remembered with great affection across our islands, which she visited on six memorable occasions."
Visits to the Bailiwick of Guernsey by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II made six official visits to the Bailiwick of Guernsey, accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh. Guernsey was visited each time and Alderney and Sark were visited on four occasions.
- 1949 - In June, the then Princess Elizabeth and her husband The Duke of Edinburgh first visited Guernsey, Alderney and Sark. During this visit the Princess Elizabeth Hospital was officially opened.
- 1957 - This was Her Majesty's first visit to Guernsey as The Queen. Over 6,000 schoolchildren gathered to welcome The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Cambridge Park. There was a busy itinerary including a visit to St George's Hall for a sitting of the Court of Chief Pleas.
- 1978 -The Royal couple walked through St Peter Port including the old Guernsey Market. After a formal lunch, they travelled to St Peter's Village and met the crowds. There was a reception and dinner on HMS Britannia. The following day The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited Alderney and Sark.
- 1989 - The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh's primary reason for visiting the Bailiwick was to open the Queen Elizabeth II Marina. First, they met local dignitaries at Beau Séjour and then visited the Bailiff's Chambers and walked around St Peter Port before declaring the new marina open. The following day the Royal couple visited Sark where The Queen opened a new medical centre and then they moved on to Alderney for a formal reception at the Island Hall.
- 2001 - The opening of the 201 Squadron Museum at Castle Cornet and the unveiling of the Millennium Stone (at L'Ancresse) brought the Royal couple to Guernsey. After lunch at Government House, The Queen flew to Alderney where she was joined by The Duke of Edinburgh and both also stopped briefly in Sark.
- 2005 - The 60th anniversary of Guernsey's liberation from German occupation was celebrated with a visit from the Royal couple.
The Bailiwick's relationship to the Crown
- The Bailiwick's connection with the Crown stretches back for centuries. However, it does not stem from the monarch's English and British roles. It is from their role as successor to the Dukes of Normandy that the Channel Islands owe their allegiance to British monarchs. The Channel Islands are the only part of the former Duchy of Normandy which remains loyal to the British Crown. This is why Islanders would toast 'La Reine/Le Roi, Notre Duc' which translates as 'The Queen/King, our Duke'.
- The Channel Islands formally became part of the Duchy of Normandy in 933, then Normandy and England came under a common ruler from 1066 after the victory of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.
- Although King John lost continental Normandy in 1204, the Channel Islands stayed loyal to the English Crown. The relationship between the Channel Islands and the monarchy was formalised in 1259 when the Treaty of Paris was agreed between Henry III of England and Louis IX of France. Although Henry III abandoned his right to the title "Duke of Normandy", his rights to the islands were confirmed and he still ruled the Islands in that capacity, continuing to observe their established laws, liberties and customs. These local rights were later confirmed in a series of Charters by successive monarchs and are the origins of the Bailiwick's status as a Crown Dependency.
Proclamation of loyalty to the new monarch, His Majesty King Charles III
As a self-governing dependency of the Crown, it is customary in Guernsey for the accession of the new Sovereign to be proclaimed publicly and for new oaths and affirmations of allegiance to be administered to members of the Royal Court and the States of Deliberation afterwards. The Proclamation [125kb] is available in the downloads section on this page.
Guernsey proclaimed the new monarch, His Majesty King Charles III, at events in St Peter Port in September 2022. These events included:
- 21-Gun Salutes at Castle Cornet - one at the same time as the Principal Proclamation was read in London (Saturday 10th September); and another to mark the Proclamation being read in Guernsey (Sunday 11th September)
- Special States Meeting for the reading of the Proclamation of the King (Sunday 11th September at St James Concert & Assembly Hall), followed by a procession to the Crown Pier
- The public Proclamation of the King took place at the Crown Pier. The Proclamation was read by HM Sheriff, in the presence of His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, the Bailiff, the President of the Policy & Resources Committee (Chief Minister) and Members of the States of Deliberation, Members of the Royal Court, the Dean and members of the Clergy and thousands of members of the public. The programme [280kb] from the Proclamation is available in the downloads section on this page.
- This was followed by the Royal Court sitting (at St James) to register the Proclamation and to administer oaths and affirmations of allegiance