King and Queen to visit Channel Islands after doctors give him the OK


The King and Queen will undertake a summer tour to the Channel Islands, visiting Jersey and Guernsey for the first time during their reign after doctors signed off on travel.

The King, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, will fit in a whistlestop two-day trip to the islands, where he is known as the Duke of Normandy.

He is working his way back to a programme of public engagements after months being kept behind closed doors for health reasons this year, with this considered another step back to normality.

The visit will feature one significant break with tradition – they will not accept the traditional gift of two dead ducks on arrival, it is understood.

When the late Queen Elizabeth II visited Jersey in 2001, she was presented with two mallards on a silver tray – part of an ancient tradition dating back to the Middle Ages when six seigneurs, or lords of the manor, would pay homage to the sovereign as the Duke of Normandy.

Queen Elizabeth is presented with  two mallards on a silver trayQueen Elizabeth is presented with  two mallards on a silver tray

Queen Elizabeth is presented with two mallards on a silver tray – FIONA HANSON/PA

The King and Queen will not be given the same gift, The Telegraph can confirm.

They will travel to Jersey on July 15 and then to Guernsey the next day for the short trip, the States of Jersey and Guernsey announced.

It is the couple’s first visit to the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey – the two Crown Dependencies off the north-west coast of France – since the King acceded to the throne.

The King’s title of Duke of Normandy dates from when William the Conqueror’s son, Henry I, seized the Duchy of Normandy, including the islands, in 1106.

Charles, who resumed public-facing duties in April despite his continued treatment for cancer, returned from the busy D-Day commemorations in Normandy last week.

He has a number of high-profile appearances ahead of him, including Trooping the Colour, the Garter Day ceremony and a likely appearance at Ascot in June.

The post-General Election trip will finish before the planned State Opening of Parliament on July 17, which is also the Queen’s 77th birthday.

The visit will highlight the relationship between the Channel Islands and the Crown which stretches back centuries.

On Jersey, Charles and Camilla will visit the capital, St Helier, and attend a special sitting of the States Assembly and the Royal Court, followed by a large-scale open-air expo.

On Guernsey, the King and Camilla will attend a special sitting of the States of Deliberation and ancient ceremony of homage to the monarch, held outdoors on the St Peter Port seafront where islanders can watch the events.

At official functions, islanders raise the loyal toast to “The Duke of Normandy, our King”.

The King and Queen will also head to the Crown Pier to learn about the island’s heritage and traditions, biodiversity initiatives, local food and the work to promote the language of Guernesiais – also known as Guernsey French.

St Helier, the Jersey capitalSt Helier, the Jersey capital

St Helier, the Jersey capital – GEOFF PUGH FOR THE TELEGRAPH

Bailiff of Guernsey Sir Richard McMahon said: “It will be a great privilege to welcome Their Majesties to the Bailiwick for the first time as King and Queen, the year after their coronation.

“Their visit this summer shows just how special the relationship between the Crown and the Islands is.”

Deputy Lyndon Trott, Chief Minister of Guernsey, said: “As is well known, His Majesty also has a special interest in global efforts to combat climate change.

“We are looking forward to showcasing our initiatives to support those efforts and promote sustainability across a range of sectors.

“That includes the pioneering green finance initiatives of our main economic sector, which have a global impact.”

Time constraints mean the couple will not be able to travel to the islands of Alderney and Sark, which are part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Deputy Bailiff of Jersey Robert MacRae announced the visit to members of Jersey’s parliament, the States Assembly, on Tuesday morning.

The Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd, added that Charles and Camilla are “looking forward greatly” to the trip.

He said: “The binding benefits of this special relationship remain as strong as ever and I know Their Majesties are looking forward greatly to their visit next month.”

The Crown Dependencies are not part of the UK but are self-governing possessions of the British Crown.

Charles and Camilla, as Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, last visited the Channel Islands during the Diamond Jubilee year of 2012.

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