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FOCUS: Farewell, Notre Duc - Jersey's long goodbye

FOCUS: Farewell, Notre Duc - Jersey's long goodbye

Monday 19 September 2022

FOCUS: Farewell, Notre Duc - Jersey's long goodbye

Monday 19 September 2022


Jersey will today join the country, the Commonwealth, and millions of people around the world in bidding a final fond farewell to Queen Elizabeth II, Notre Duc for more than 70 years.

Her Majesty died on Thursday 8 September, at the age of 96.

She came to the throne in 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI.

From being a young Monarch, to her status as the nation's beloved Grandmother and Great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II is already being referred to as Elizabeth the Great, and Elizabeth the Faithful.

The State Funeral

Her Majesty will be laid to rest with her "strength and stay" Prince Philip, her parents and her sister, at Windsor after her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey.

The State Funeral is due to start at 11:00 on Monday 19 September, with the ceremonial procession from Westminster Hall, where she is lying in state, due to commence at shortly after 10:35.

A national two-minute silence will be held around 11:55.

Following the State Funeral, which is due to finish at around midday, the Queen's coffin will be taken to Windsor, where Her Majesty will be interred during a private burial at King George VI Memorial Chapel in St George's Chapel.

Today's State Funeral, which will be broadcast at Parish Halls, St. Saviour's Parish Church, and in hospitality venues across the island, comes as the official period of mourning comes to an end.

Tributes and salutes

As across the British Isles and wider Commonwealth, tributes in Jersey have been heartfelt and numerous.

The day after Her Majesty's death, the Royal Square began to fill up with floral tributes from authorities, schools and families.

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Pictured: Islanders queuing up to sign the book of condolence. (Max Le Feuvre)

Many of them thanked the Monarch for her 70 years' service and support for the Channel Islands, as 'Notre Duc'.

Lengthy queues also began to form in the Square to sign a book of condolence at the Royal Court, while others were opened at Parish Halls too.

Video: The 96-gun salute as it happened. 

At 13:00, Jersey joined in with the 96-gun salute taking place across the British Isles, firing canons from the Glacis Field by Fort Regent.

There was canon-fire on a smaller scale to mark the beginning and end of a one-minute silence before a special States Assembly sitting.

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Pictured: A canon was fired from the Fort Regent Rampers to mark the beginning and end of the minute's silence. (Max Le Feuvre)

During the sitting, numerous States Members rose to share their memories of the Queen. Among them was former Bailiff and current Grouville Deputy Philip Bailhache, who fondly recalled how Her Majesty charmed a French politician whose visit coincided with one of her own to Jersey.

Throughout, the Royal Mace was cloaked – a sight Constable Simon Crowcroft described as shocking.

Proclaiming a new King

However, the golden symbol of the island's centuries-old relationship with the Crown was unveiled on Sunday, glinting as it travelled through the Royal Square for the Proclamation of Charles III as King in Jersey.

Video: The Special States Assembly sitting started with a cloaked mace being carried into the States Chamber.

Speaking on an elevated platform from the very same spot where Princess Elizabeth II had been proclaimed Queen in 1952, Bailiff Sir Timothy Le Cocq took the opportunity to reflect on the life and service of the Queen, as well as honouring the island's new 'Duc'. who he said had already shown "warmth" to Jersey on a previous visit with his Queen Consort.

After reading the official Proclamation text, the Bailiff led islanders into 'God Save the King', in what was the first time islanders had come together to sing the 'new' National Anthem.

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Pictured: Preceded by the Royal Mace, the Bailiff and Crown Officers file out of the Royal Square after the Proclamation.

He then led three cheers for Charles III.

Jars of clay and giving thanks

On Saturday morning, a service of thanksgiving led by the Dean, the Very Reverend Mike Keirle, was held a the Town Church.

Welcoming the crowd – a blend of politicians, Royal Court officials and members of the public – was an organ offering 'I Vow To Thee My Country', before words from the Dean, then a rousing chorous of 'That All People On Earth Do Dwell'.

Leading thanksgiving tributes was the Bailiff, who noted that "so much has been said aid about HM The Queen, and so many tributes paid to her, that it is difficult to offer any reflections or observations that may not seem repetitious or even trite."

He described her as a "constant, stabilising presence" and a "centre of calm and certainty in the sometimes tumultuous years since she acceded to the throne."

Video: The full service of thanksgiving at St. Helier Town Church.

"We should not underestimate the impact that her absence creates in the psyche of the nation collectively, and on each of us individually," he noted.

Recalling his own unexpected meeting with Her Majesty, he went on to reflect what is perhaps the "defining characteristic of the Queen's life" – service. This, he said, was reflected in her very final days.

"It's difficult to think of a greater example of service that, when clearly in poor health, some two days before being taken to her bed and then passing away, Her Majesty met the outgoing Prime Minister and brought in the new; she did her constitutional Duty right up to the very end and she did it with a wonderful smile," Sir Timothy said.

"I think it's commonly known earlier that day she had been on the phone to the trainer of her racehorses - one of her greatest pleasures - so we can reasonably say that even up to the end of her life she lived it to the full."

Chair of the Methodist CI District Dawn Saunders read Psalm 23 – 'the Lord is my Shepherd' – before the church was enraptured by 'O God, Our Help in Ages Past'.

Chief Minister Deputy Krisitna Moore read a passage from Corinthians reflecting on the "treasure" each person on earth has, contained in "jars of clay".

This, the Dean explained, was an "extraordinary" description that is of the human condition.

"It has about it an air of permanence and impermanence, of strength accompanied by brokenness, riches alongside poverty, joy entwined with sorrow, continuity fractured by transition," he continued.

"The reading offers us a glimpse of the abiding, the enduring, and the eternal but it reminds us that it is wrapped in mortality. Over the last nine days since the death of the late Queen we have all felt that sense of the fragility of life; that the things that we've taken for granted are solid and immovable, are in fact subject to change and decay.

"That has given us scores to reflect on our own lives as Elizabethans and to ponder what lies ahead: treasures in Jars of Clay."

Echoing the words of the Bailiff, the Dean continued: "King Charles III - and it still sounds strange saying that - referred to his mother as someone who was unequalled in dedication and devotion. We have been reminded this morning of the constancy and steadfast nature of her reign in an ever-changing world, providing us with a sense of stability and continuity: a still point in a turning world."

Beyond her official role, he reminded the congregation that "beneath the pomp of ceremony and state Her Majesty, was a human being like the rest of us - a jar of clay, fragile."

Illustrating this, he recalled how the Queen was famously asked by American tourists on her Balmoral estate whether she had met the Queen, to which she replied that she hadn't, btu that "Dick here" – her Protection Officer – "meets her regularly."

Returning to Corinthians, he concluded: "Today we mourn the death of Elizabeth Alexandra May Windsor, the jar of clay who was our treasured Queen. And as we do so we look one final time to that reading for it reminds us of the direction we should look as we mourn her passing, and as we give thanks for her life. We fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal; so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Amen."

Following prayers from Reverend Saunders and Catholic Dean of Jersey Canon Dominic Golding, and a rendition of 'O Jesus, I have Promised' – a hymn the Dean described as a "distillation" of the Queen's descriptions of her faith – the service was brought to a close with the National Anthem.

Paying respects in London

Later in the day, a delegation of five States Members travelled to London to see the Queen lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.

The Chief Minister and her Deputy, Kirsten Morel, described it as an "honour" to have been able to pay respects to the late monarch on behalf of islanders.

While the group of States Members were offered passes by the UK Government at the request of the Earl Marshal's office, meaning they did not have to brave 'The Queue', some islanders travelled over to London and waited in line to say their final goodbyes.

Among them was Joanne Vandermerwe-Mahon who described her moment in Westminster Hall saying goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II as "magic".

Responsible for conveying the Queen's coffin to the Westminster Hall catafalque in the first place was 19-year-old Fletcher Cox from Jersey, who, as part of a group from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards chosen to act as pallbearers, will also be involved in today's State Funeral.

Also helping will be 11 police officers from Jersey.

An Inspector, Sergeant and six police constables left shortly after the Queen's passing to support their Metropolitan Police colleagues in London and were sworn in as UK officers last Monday morning, giving them the powers needed to undertake duties in London.

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Pictured: Joanne and her mother enjoyed seeing the sights of London during their long wait in The Queue.

Additionally, a further three Close Protection officers were sent to London on Wednesday to assist with the protection of the large number of VIPs expected to attend Her Majesty's funeral.

Chief Officer Robin Smith it is an "honour and a privilege to represent the Island at the largest policing operation ever seen in London."

"When appointed, police officers give an oath to faithfully serve Her Majesty, her heirs and her successors and I know it will be an enormous honour for those officers to represent the States of Jersey Police," he added.

Tomorrow, flags will return to full-mast at 08:00.

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