Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Bailiwick of Jersey

The Bailiwick of Jersey is a self-governing British Crown Dependency in the English Channel.  The bailiwick is made up of Jersey, the largest island, plus the surrounding islands and rocks Les Dirouilles, Les Écréhous, Les Minquiers, and Les Pierres de Lecq.

Jersey, the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands, is 23 km (14 miles) off the coast of Normandy, France.  It's actually closer to France than it is to England which is 160 km (100 miles) north.

Jersey has a total area of 188 km² (46 square miles) so it's about ⅔ the size of Washington DC.  About ⅓ of the island's 108.000 inhabitants live in the capital city Saint Helier.  The island is divided into 12 parishes.

Jersey is not a part of the UK, nor is it a part of the Commonwealth of Nations but it does compete in the Commonwealth Games.  It is a self-governing parliamentary democracy whose constitutional relationship is with the Crown.  Jersey has a Bailiff who is the civil head, the president of the states, and the head of the judiciary.  The Lieutenant Governor represents the British monarch, Charles III, while the Chief Minister is the head of the government.

While not a part of the United Kingdom, the UK is responsible for its defence and to represent it internationally.

Jersey is a part of the Common Travel Area so there is free movement of travel with the UK, Ireland, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

The currency is the Jersey Pound Sterling which is pegged one-to-one against the British £.  While British money is accepted in Jersey, the Jersey Pound isn't accepted in the UK.

The official languages are English, French, and Jèrriais which is a Norman French dialect.  Here's a short video that I found on YouTube that talks about Jèrriais.

©AFP News Agency

During WWII, Jersey was invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany for five years.  The island wasn't liberated until 9 May 1945 which today is the island's national day.  So while the vast majority of Western Europe celebrates the end of WWII in Europe on 8 May, Jersey celebrates 9 May like Russia and many post-Soviet republics do. 

Next week I'm off to Saint Helier for a few days which will be my first trip to the Channel Islands.

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