The Earl and Countess of Wessex are visiting the Channel Islands for the Liberation 77 celebrations and to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Starting in Jersey, Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed by the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey, HE Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, and the Bailiff of the Island, Mr Timothy Le Cocq.
At Government House in St Saviour, The Earl and Countess met members of the community and those who are connected to charities and organisations associated with them – including the Commonwealth Games Association Jersey, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Jersey and Jersey Mencap.
There was also an opportunity to meet working shire Horse, Ajax, and a horse and carriage team and a Jersey Wagonette.
To celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Their Royal Highnesses unveiled the ‘Le temps s’passes vite’ Platinum Jubilee Sundial.
Later, at the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society, The Earl and Countess were able to meet a wide cross-section of the Island community.
They were also shown items related to the German Occupation, including improvised occupation recipes created during the times of strict rationing and food shortages.
To start the day, The Earl and Countess unveiled a plaque on Jersey’s new official saluting gun battery to commemorate The Duke of Edinburgh.
Liberation Day is celebrated each year on 9 May, to mark the end of the German Occupation during the Second World War.
During the Liberation Day event, The Earl read a message from The Queen.
The Royal Highnesses then were able to meet members of the ‘occupation generation’ who shared their accounts of living through the Occupation.
This was followed with a viewing of the Liberation Day March Past, which comprised of marching bands, serving military units, veterans and youth organisations.
The Earl and Countess then headed to Guernsey for their celebrations.
Their Royal Highnesses first visited the Liberation Tea Dance at Beau Séjour, which saw the island’s Occupation Generation celebrating together.
After spending time meeting islanders at the event, Their Royal Highnesses travelled to Castle Cornet for an Ecumenical Service, and delivered a message from The Queen, before watching a special performance of ‘Sarnia Cherie’ by the Guernsey Music Service Youth Choir, followed by the 21-gun salute.
After the salute, The Earl and Countess had the chance to watch the Liberation Day Cavalcade as it travelled around the Model Yacht Pond.
The final day in the Channel Island's started with a visited to Forest Primary School in Guernsey, to see how they are preparing to celebrate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, including meeting the winner of the local Platinum Jubilee for Guernsey flag competition.
Their Royal Highnesses then headed over to Alderney where they were greeted by the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell CB, CBE and States of Alderney President, William Tate.
Their first visit was to Victoria Street, St Anne, where they were welcomed by Islanders and visitors lining the famous cobbled street,to the Alderney Wildlife Trust (AWT) which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year. They were able to see first-hand the work being done to preserve the Island’s stunning marine and terrestrial species.
At Island Hall, The Earl and Countess attended a reception with the Island’s Politicians, Civil Servants, Representatives of the Court, members of the Alderney Covid Operational Group and other frontline representatives, together with the Royal British Legion and Age Concern.
The reception was also a special moment for Alderney’s first female firefighter, Mrs Letitia Flatres, who joined the Fire Service in 2001 who was presented with the Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
The Earl of Wessex also delivered a message from The Queen.
Their Royal Highnesses then visited the Roman Fort heritage site at Longis (known as The Nunnery) where they accompanied by local archaeologist Dr Isabel Picornell, formally broke ground for the forthcoming Platinum Jubilee Archeological Dig.
The President then introduced The Earl and Countess to one of Alderney’s tourist highlights when they boarded the Channel Islands’ only train service at the restored Platinum Jubilee Station Platform at the Arsenal. The short trip took them to the Railway Station at Braye.
To finish their visit in the Channel Islands, The Earl and Countess visited Sark, where they will presented the island’s emergency service personnel with a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal, and also met Sark’s Occupation Generation in the Island Hall, where His Royal Highness presented a message from The Queen.