It is with great sadness that His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor has received official notification from Buckingham Palace of Her Majesty The Queen's death. A period of National Mourning has started and will continue until the end of the day of the State Funeral.
This page provides guidance on what to do and expect during the period of National Mourning.
Official condolence messages
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."
Condolence messages from Island dignitaries
- His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell CB, CBE
- The Bailiff, Richard McMahon
- The Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Ferbrache
- A period of National Mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has now started. The period of National Mourning will continue until the end of the day of the State Funeral. The Royal Family will undertake a separate period of Royal Mourning, subject to the wishes of The King.
- National Mourning is a period of time for reflection in response to the demise of the Sovereign, or other member of the Royal Family or a very prominent person in national life.
- Mourning is very personal and we anticipate individuals, families, communities and organisations may want to mark Her Majesty's demise in their own way. There is no expectation on the public or organisations to observe specific behaviours during the mourning period.
- Making a donation to one of Her Majesty's many Charities and Patronages may be a fitting way of paying tribute to her extraordinary legacy. A list of Her Majesty's Charities and Patronages, and how you can donate can be found at royal.uk/charities-and-patronages.
- Official photos from the period of National Mourning including the Proclamation, the Service of Thanksgiving and the showing of the State Funeral are available to view online on Chris George's website.
Public events in Guernsey
- In order to mark the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and in turn the accession of King Charles III, a number of events will be taking place over the coming days. The details of the events will be added below:
- Friday 9th September
- 13.00 - Gun Salute to mark each year of Her Majesty's life - At Castle Cornet - Closed to the public
- 14.30 - Special States Meeting as a Tribute to Her Majesty - At the Royal Court, inside the Chamber - Open to the public - limited space available in public gallery
- Saturday 10th September
- 11.00 - Royal Gun Salute - 21 guns when the Principal Proclamation is read in London - At Castle Cornet - Open to the public
- Sunday 11th September
- 11.00 - Special States Meeting - Proclamation of the King - At St James - Open to the public - limited space available
- Followed by procession from St James to the Crown Pier via College Street, Ann's Place, Smith Street and Le Pollet
- 12.00 - Proclamation of the King - At the Crown Pier - Open to the public
- Followed by Royal Court sitting for registration and swearing oaths of allegiance - At St James - Open to the public - limited space available
- Saturday 17th September
- 11.30 - Service of Thanksgiving - At the Town Church - Islanders are invited to attend the service at the Town Church where there will be plenty of seating for members of the public, on a first come, first served basis and they are welcome to arrive from 10.45. In addition, the service will be livestreamed on the States of Guernsey Facebook page as well as via Service of Thanksgiving Livestream - States of Guernsey (gov.gg). Spurgeon Baptist Church in St Peter Port and Vazon Elim Church will also be livestreaming the service.
- Sunday 18th September
- 20.00 - One minute silence - Islanders are invited to join in the national moment of reflection to mourn and reflect on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
- Monday 19th September
- Following the confirmation by His Majesty King Charles III that there will be a public holiday in the UK on the day of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, we can confirm that there will be a public holiday in Guernsey on the same day. The funeral will take place on Monday 19th September.
- On Saturday 17th September, the Bailiwick of Guernsey was represented at the Lying-in-State in Westminster Hall by His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell CB, CBE; the Bailiff of Guernsey, Mr Richard McMahon; and the Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Ferbrache.
Island Service of Thanksgiving
- An Island Service of Thanksgiving will take place at 11.30 on Saturday 17th September at the Town Church. Islanders are invited to attend the service at the Town Church where there will be some seating for members of the public, on a first come, first served basis and they are welcome to arrive from 10.45. In addition, the service will be livestreamed on the States of Guernsey Facebook page and churches that have facilities to show this have been encouraged to welcome people for live screenings of the service.
- The Service of Thanksgiving livestream will be available to watch on the States of Guernsey Facebook page as well as via Service of Thanksgiving Livestream - States of Guernsey (gov.gg). Spurgeon Baptist Church in St Peter Port and Vazon Elim Church will also be livestreaming the service.
Books of Condolence
- An electronic Book of Condolence for the public to leave messages on is available on the Royal Website. Books of Condolence will also be opened and available for the public to sign in the below locations across the Island. It is suggested that both online and physical books of condolence are closed at the end of the day following the day of the State Funeral.
Government House Guernsey, The Queen's Road, St Peter Port, GY1 1GH
Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 17:00
The Royal Court
The Royal Court House, St James Street, St Peter Port, GY1 2NZ
Monday to Friday: 08:45 - 17:00
Sir Charles Frossard House
Sir Charles Frossard House, La Charroterie, St Peter Port, GY1 1FH
Monday to Friday: 08:30 - 17:00
St Peter Port Douzaine
St Peter Port Constables Office, Lefebvre Street, St Peter Port, GY1 2JS
Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 15:00
St Sampson Douzaine
Chambre de la Douzaine, Le Murier, St Sampson, GY2 4HQ
Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 12:30
Vale Douzaine Room. Maraitaine Road, Vale, GY3 5QE
Monday to Friday: 10:00 - 13:00
La Chambre de la Douzaine, Les Beaucamps, Castel, GY5 7PE
Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 12:00
St Saviour Douzaine
Constables' Office, St Saviour's Community Centre, Le Neuf Chemin, St Saviour, GY7 9FG
Tuesday: 14:30 - 18:30
Thursday: 09:00 - 11:00
St Pierre du Bois Douzaine
St Pierre du Bois Douzaine Room, Les Buttes, St Pierre du Bois, GY7 9SD
Tuesday: 16:00 - 19:00
Wednesday: 10:00 - 13:00
Thursday: 10:00 - 13:00
Friday: 10:00 - 13:00
Rue du Belle, Torteval, GY8 0LN
Friday: 13:00 - 16:00
Saturday: 10:00 - 12:00
Forest Douzaine Room, Rue des Landes, Forest, GY8 0HF
Tuesday: 19:00 - 20:00
St Martin Douzaine
Constables' Office, La Grande Rue, St Martin, GY4 6LQ
Monday: 10:00 - 12:00
Wednesday: 10:00 - 12:00
Friday: 10:00 - 12:00
St Andrew Douzaine
St Andrew Douzaine Room, Route de St Andrew, St Andrew, GY6 8UN
Monday: 09:00 - 12:00
Wednesday: 09:00 - 12:00
Friday: 09:00 - 12:00
- Floral tributes may be laid in the Sunken Gardens (at the top of Smith Street) where an official portrait of Her Majesty will be displayed. Please remove any plastic or other non-organic items from tributes before laying them. We would politely ask Islanders only to leave flowers, not cards and gifts.
- All floral tributes, at the end of the period of National Mourning, will be collected and composted.
Major events, entertainment and sporting events
- There is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period. This is at the discretion of individual organisations.
- As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the State Funeral. They are, however, under no obligation to do so and this is at the discretion of individual organisations.
- If sporting fixtures or events are planned for the day of the State Funeral, organisations may want to adjust the event timings so that they do not clash with the timings of the funeral service and associated processions.
- As a mark of respect, and in keeping with the tone of National Mourning, organisers may wish to hold a one-minute silence and/or play the National Anthem at the start of events or sporting fixtures, and players may wish to wear black armbands.
Closure of businesses, corporate events and public buildings
- There is no obligation on organisations to suspend business during the National Mourning period. However, please note that the day of the State Funeral will be a Public Holiday in Guernsey.
- Depending on the nature and location of their business and the tone of planned events, some businesses may wish to consider closing or postponing planned events especially on the day of the State Funeral, however, this is at the discretion of individual businesses.
- If appropriate, some locations open to the public (including hospitality businesses and places of worship) may wish to show the live broadcast of the State Funeral.
- On Monday 19 September the majority of public buildings will be closed, including Beau Sejour, museums and Castle Cornet.
- The Harbour and Airport will be open, however both will cease commercial operations between 11am and 12pm while the funeral is taking place. The funeral will be shown on screens in the airport and harbour terminal buildings for travellers who are in the buildings at that time.
- Public buildings providing critical services, such as the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, will remain open and will operate as normal.
Dress code for public events
- If you have been awarded medals or decorations, please wear these to the Proclamation Day events. Apart from this, there is no specific dress code, but please be respectful.
Proclamation of loyalty to the new King
- There is a dedicated page with information about the Proclamation of loyalty to the new King.
Special States Meetings
- The first Special States Meeting will be held at 14.30 on Friday 9th September in order to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
- A second special States Meeting will be held at 11.00 on Sunday 11th September in order for the first Proclamation to be read.
- Members of the public are welcome to attend however there is limited capacity within the venue and first admission will be for those first to arrive.
- During the period of National Mourning, there are some changes to the protocol for flag flying. Flags should be flown at half-mast until the day after the State Funeral at 8.00. In contrast to the normal practice, flags should be flown 24 hours a day.
- The exception to this is when the Proclamations are taking place. On 10th September, when the Principal Proclamation is read in London, and on the 11th September when the Proclamations in Guernsey are held, there is specific guidance for flag-flying. The Union Flag and all other official flags should be raised to full-mast between the hours of 9.00 and 10.30 on the 10th and remain at full-mast until 13.00 on the 11th, at which time the Union and official flags should return to being flown at half-mast.
- Once the period of National Mourning has ended, flags should return to normal flag flying protocol.
- The Union Flag is the preferred flag but where no Union Flag is available, the Guernsey Flag should be flown. At locations where there are two flag poles, both flags are to be flown at half-mast, with the Union Flag being given prominence where applicable.
- There are instructions available online on how to fly a flag at half-mast.
- On poles that are more than 45° from the vertical, flags cannot be flown at half-mast and should not be flown at all.
- Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, bells will toll for one hour at midday on Friday 9th September.
Using currency and stamps
- All currency bearing the image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II remains legal tender and will continue to be accepted across the Bailiwick.
- All stamps will remain valid and can continue to be used.
Guernsey's relationship with the Crown
- Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was known in the Bailiwick of Guernsey as The Queen. The Bailiwick's connection with the Crown stretches back 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 in respect of the Channel Islands that the 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. It is for this reason that Islanders will toast 'La Reine, Notre Duc' which translates as 'The Queen, 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 in it 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 Kings and Queens and are the origins and basis of the Bailiwick's status as a Crown Dependency.
- At 13.00 on Friday 9th September there will be a 96-gun salute to mark the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Castle Cornet will be closed to the public for this gun-salute.
- In order to mark the Proclamation of His Majesty King Charles, there will be two 21-gun salutes at Castle Cornet. The first of these will be at 11.00 on Saturday 10th September to mark the Principal Proclamation being read in London. Members of the public can go to Castle Cornet to watch the gun salute. There will be no admission charge. Anyone wanting to watch the gun salute, must enter the Castle before 10.45 and remain there until the gun salute is finished as the Castle Bridge will be closed. Otherwise, the Castle will be open from 10.00 - 17.00 as normal.
- The second will be at midday on Sunday 11th September to mark the Proclamation being read in Guernsey.
- History of Castle Cornet
- In 1204 John I, King of England and Duke of Normandy, who had been at war with France, suffered a defeat. The whole of Normandy, apart from the Channel Islands fell into French hands. Castle Cornet was subsequently built to protect the town of St Peter Port and its busy trading harbour. It is likely that the castle was completed by 1225.
- During the Hundred Years War the French tried again and again to capture Guernsey. In 1338 they captured the castle but were driven out in 1345.
- The castle was enlarged during the reign of Elizabeth I. The high angular outer walls, with bastions and bulwarks, date to this period and were designed by Paul Ivy. Above the main gate are the coat of arms of Elizabeth I.
- During the civil war the island of Guernsey supported Parliament. The Lieutenant Governor Sir Peter Osborne held the castle for the King. The castle was sieged from 1642 to 1651. On the 19th December 1651 Castle Cornet was the last Royalist stronghold to surrender.
- Castle Cornet was struck by lightning on the 29th December 1672, and the donjon (or keep) with its gunpowder stores exploded. The living quarters of the Governor, Lord Hatton were destroyed together with the medieval Great Hall and the chapel. They were never rebuilt. Lord Hatton survived but his wife, mother and five other people were killed. After this accident no Governors ever lived in the Castle again.
- During the eighteenth century Great Britain was often at war with France. This put Guernsey on the front line. Soldiers from the British army were stationed at Castle Cornet. In the 1750's two new large barrack buildings were constructed to house an increased garrison.
- During the Second World War Guernsey was occupied by German forces. Castle Cornet formed part of the coastal defences and was key in defending the harbour as Stuzpunkt Hafenschloss(Strongpoint Harbour Castle). It was probably one of the only castle in the British Isles to have been bombed by the Royal Air Force.
- H.M. King George VI gave Castle Cornet as a gift to Guernsey. It is maintained as a Protected Monument by the States of Guernsey.
- The Guns
- The saluting Battery is in the outer ward of the castle. It is a 19th century widening of the original curtain wall which dates to c.1570.
- The saluting battery has been used annually for a 21 gun salute to mark the Queen's Official Birthday.
- The original guns were removed from the Castle during the Occupation. The seven guns on the saluting battery today were cast in 1987 using a 1601 Saker from the Tower of London as a pattern.
- Each gun is loaded by hand with a 1oz or 25g Ground Maroon. The guns are fired electrically. 21 shots will be fired at 10 second intervals for the salutes.
- Each gun will be used 3 times during a 21 gun salute. Once fired, the gun crew have approximately 70 seconds to reload. The gun crew continue to reload until the crew is instructed to make the gun safe to account for any misfires elsewhere on the battery.
- If a gun misfires the gun crew will shout 'misfire' and the gun will then be retired from the salute.
Further information will be provided in due course.