Portal:Channel Islands

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Introduction

Satellite photo of the Channel Islands in 2012

The Channel Islands (Norman: Îles d'la Manche; French: Îles Anglo-Normandes or Îles de la Manche) are an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two Crown dependencies: the Bailiwick of Jersey, which is the largest of the islands; and the Bailiwick of Guernsey, consisting of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and some smaller islands. They are considered the remnants of the Duchy of Normandy and, although they are not part of the United Kingdom, the UK is responsible for the defence and international relations of the islands. The Crown dependencies are not members of the Commonwealth of Nations or of the European Union. They have a total population of about 164,541, and the bailiwicks' capitals, Saint Helier and Saint Peter Port, have populations of 33,500 and 16,488, respectively. The total area of the islands is 198 km2.

The two bailiwicks have been administered separately since the late 13th century. Each has its own independent laws, elections, and representative bodies (although in modern times, politicians from the islands' legislatures are in regular contact). Any institution common to both is the exception rather than the rule. The Bailiwick of Guernsey is divided into three jurisdictions – Guernsey, Alderney and Sark – each with its own legislature.

The term "Channel Islands" began to be used around 1830, possibly first by the Royal Navy as a collective name for the islands.

Selected island

Flag of Jersey.svg

Jersey (/ˈɜːrzi/, French: [ʒɛʁzɛ]; Jèrriais: Jèrri [ʒɛri], officially the Bailiwick of Jersey, French: Bailliage de Jersey), is a British Crown dependency just off the coast of Normandy, France. It is the largest Channel Island, and although the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey are often referred to collectively as the Channel Islands, the "Channel Islands" are not a constitutional or political unit. Jersey has a separate relationship to the British Crown from the other Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The bailiwick consists of Jersey, Les Dirouilles, Les Écréhous, Les Minquiers, Les Pierres de Lecq, and other reefs.

Jersey is part of the ancient Duchy of Normandy, and is ruled by the Duke of Normandy—a title held by the reigning Monarch of the United Kingdom, though unrelated to those duties as king or queen of the UK. The island is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial, legal and judicial systems, and the power of self-determination.

Selected biography

Compton Mackenzie in London, 1914

Sir Compton Mackenzie, OBE (/ˈkʌmptən məˈkɛnzɪ/; 1883–1972) was a prolific writer of fiction, biography, histories and memoir, as well as a cultural commentator, raconteur and lifelong Scottish nationalist. He was one of the co-founders in 1928 of the Scottish National Party along with Hugh MacDiarmid, RB Cunninghame Graham and John MacCormick. Mackenzie was the tenant of Herm and Jethou for three years. (Full article...)

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