Thursday, 21 August 2014

Guernsey - a complicated history!

Our history seems to confuse a lot of visitors and locals too!  
So I thought I would give a quick summary.

We became part of Normandy in 935 ish, before that we had been part of Brittany.
So in 1066 we invaded England with our Duke William, 
or as most people know him William the Conquer! 
It was his ancestor King John, Magna Carta chap, who lost Normandy to the French in 1205, 
which is why we have never been French.  
In the ensuing battles we stayed loyal to the British Crown and so in 1215, he awarded us the right to govern ourselves.  Very convenient to have a friendly port just of the enemies coast! 
And that is still the statues quo today.
So that is why we are Crown Dependencies, loyal to the Crown, but with no political connections to Britain.  And also when the Queen visits us and goes to the States, our Parliament, 
her official title is the Duke of Normandy.

Oh and one last interesting fact, English didnt become our official language till about 1919.
It was Guernesiais in the country, English for the traders and French for the legal proffesion.
In the 1850s there were 4 newspapers, 2 in English and 2 in French!
Duke William

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