25th July 1957
Queen Elizabeth II visits Jersey
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh began their 1957 tour of the Channel Islands by sailing in to St Helier on the Royal Barge. They’d crossed overnight on the Royal Yacht Britannia, from Southampton, and were met by the Lieutenant-Governor and Bailiff on the Albert Pier.
Even before leaving Britannia the royal couple had received the first of several welcome gifts, delivered by fishing boat: lobster, honey, butter, eggs and flowers, all of which had been sourced locally.
First visit as Queen
This was the first time the Queen had visited Jersey since her coronation, so unsurprisingly the gifts kept coming. On shore, she was presented with a Jersey cow from the people of the island, which was to be added to the existing herd at Windsor. She was also given a large silver Jersey milk can, although it seems unlikely this would be used to collect the gift cow’s milk.
The royal couple was driven about while standing up in the back of an open-topped Land Rover so the thousands that had lined the harbour and streets of St Helier could get a good look at them. When they stopped at the Royal Court, they were shown the royal seal of 1279 given to the island by Edward I, and the royal mace presented to the island by Charles II who had fled to Jersey during the English Civil War, and been proclaimed king there before anywhere else in the kingdom.
Their visit to Jersey was the first stop of a three-day visit that took them right around the Channel Islands, heading from Jersey to Guernsey after an evening reception on the Royal Yacht, then to Alderney and Sark.
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