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The Queen's Visits to Jersey: 1978

The Queen's Visits to Jersey: 1978

Thursday 15 September 2022

The Queen's Visits to Jersey: 1978

Thursday 15 September 2022

More than 20 years were to pass before, in 1978, the Queen visited the island for the third time.

During her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II visited the island six times, more than any other monarch.

Express is looking back on each of those visits. After reflecting on 1949 and 1957, we focus on the Queen's third visit, which came more than 20 years after her second...

 ~ 1978 ~

The previous year had seen the Queen’s Silver Jubilee; 1973 the marriage of her oldest daughter, Princess Anne, to Captain Mark Phillips; and in 1977 the arrival of the Queen’s first grandchild, Peter Mark Andrew Phillips.

Britain had joined the Common Market, and Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan was in power.

Locally, Jersey’s Bailiff during the Occupation, Alexander Countanche, who had been knighted in 1946, and ennobled as Baron Coutanche of St. Brelade and the Island of Jersey and City of Westminster in 1961, and who had greeted her on her two previous visits, had died in 1965.


‘God Save the Queen’ banned


Pictured: On the morning of 27 June, the couple were ferried to the Albert Pier aboard the Royal Barge. 

Punk rock was unsettling the swinging sixties and the stayed post-war world, with the BBC famously refusing to play the Sex Pistols song ‘God Save the Queen’ on the grounds of ‘taste and decency’ and many shops including Woolworths refusing to sell the record.

Despite the societal changes, Royal Visits were not yet the relaxed affairs they were later to become and locally still very much followed the same old formula.

On the evening of 26 June, the couple arrived in local waters aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. It moored in St. Aubin’s Bay and hosted a reception for 200 guests, which went on until midnight.


Pictured: The couple was  met by the new Bailiff Sir Frank Ereaut (right). 

The following morning, at 10:15, the couple were ferried to the Albert Pier aboard the Royal Barge and met by the new Bailiff Sir Frank Ereaut.

In time honoured fashion, eight-year-old Claire Stanley presented the Queen with a bouquet.

Claire had entered a competition put on by the Harbour’s Department for the children of staff members, and to her surprise and delight, she was chosen.

Rehearsing for the day meant learning to curtsy and finding her way to stand in the right place at the right time.

To make sure everything went swimmingly on the day, a white 'C' was painted on the tarmac just in case.


Pictured: Eight-year-old Claire Stanley presented the Queen with a bouquet.

After that, Claire had to rush off and get changed into a leotard, as she was later due to take part in a gymnastics display for the Queen later on.

The visitors were then driven to the Royal Square for a special sitting of the States Assembly.

In her reply to the Loyal Address, the Queen said she was delighted to be back in the Island again, especially since she had been unable to visit during her Silver Jubilee Year.


Pictured: The gymnastics display later in the day. 

Then, once again following protocol, led by Philip Malet de Carteret, of St. Ouen, the Island’s senior Seigneur, who had only been in the post for 60 days, the Lords of the Manor, swore allegiance to the sovereign in a special ceremony in the Royal Court.

Outside the building a smaller than anticipated crowd of about 1,000 people waited patiently to catch a glimpse of the Royal Couple. The Queen and Duke waved as they left the building.


A Jersey cow toy for the newest Royal


Pictured: 4,000 school gathered in the grounds of Grainville. 

By contrast, 4,000 school children had been marshalled in the grounds of Grainville, which the States had just paid £1m for as the site for a new secondary school.

 Two students from St. Helier Girls’ School, Lesley Smith and Kerry McIntosh, presented the Queen with a soft toy of a Jersey cow for her new grandson.

 Afterwards, while the Queen retired to Government House, the Duke of Edinburgh went to St. Helier Boys’ School to meet some of the Island’s youngsters involved in his Awards Scheme.


Pictured: Students from St. Helier Girls’ School presented the Queen with Jersey cow toy for her new grandson.

This time, lunch was at the Hotel l’Horizon: Scotch salmon, Nantes duckling, and strawberries.


Ansom Designette


Pictured: The Royal couple were greeted by owner Anne Perchard, who presented them with Ansom Designette, a prize Jersey cow worth an estimated £1,000.

In the afternoon, 5,000 Islanders were at Le Petit Câtelet, St. John, for a specially arranged Country Show which the visitors attended.

The Royal couple were greeted by owner Anne Perchard, who presented them with Ansom Designette, a prize Jersey cow worth an estimated £1,000.

The final event of the day was at Howard Davis Park, were once again a crowd of about 5,000 people had gathered.


Celebrating Channel swimmers


Pictured: The couple departed the harbour for the Royal Yacht at 17:00.

Amongst those presented were three of the Island’s young English Channel swimmers, David Minty, Linda Deveraux and Robert de St Paër, and David Sandeman, who in 1976, aged 17, had become the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic single-handed.

The couple departed the harbour for the Royal Yacht at 17:00 and the end of their third visit to the island.


This series is also available in podcast format. You can listen to this episode below...


Express will be releasing a Special Digital Edition celebrating the life of the Queen and her connection to Jersey on the day of Her Majesty's State Funeral on Monday 19 September.

Sign up to Bailiwick Express's free daily news email now so you don't miss out.


With thanks to Jersey Heritage for the photographs.

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