The Bailiwick of Guernsey comprises 7 islands situated just north of the Normandy coast. The largest is Guernsey itself with the others being, in descending order of size, Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, Brecqhou and Lihou. Together with Jersey, they form the Channel Islands (not to be confused with islands of the same name off the US coast). Although closest to France physically, Guernsey is a dependency of the British Crown, which dates back to 933AD when it was part of the Norman Realm. In 1066, when William of Normandy became William I of England, it was still governed as a part of Normandy but when mainland Normandy was lost in 1204 it remained loyal to the King of England as he promised to rule as though he were Duke of Normandy. These were set out in a Charter of the time, with similar Charters being ratified by successive British monarchs. The Bailiwick of Guernsey is therefore completely independent except for matters of defence and international representation. The islands have been a centre of conflict between England and France for many years due to their allegiance to England. This can be witnessed today by the various castles, towers and fortifications that dot the landscape. More recently, the Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the German forces during the 2nd World War. Islanders suffered great hardship during this period. Alderney became the base for 2 labour camps and an SS concentration camp to which prisoners from eastern europe were sent. British liberating forces in 1945 found nearly 400 graves, although it is suspected that many more died during this time. Guernsey was liberated on 9 May 1945 and this date is still celebrated as a public holiday in the islands. Today Guernsey is a leading international finance centre, featuring on the OECD 'White List' and in the top tier of the Global Financial Centres Index. It's also a great place to live!
What´s New for May - Channel Islands & Isle of Man
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