Prince Philip: Crowds welcomed the duke to the Channel Islands

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The Queen and Prince Philip on their penultimate visit to the Channel Islands together in 2001

The Duke of Edinburgh was a popular royal visitor to the Channel Islands often accompanying the Queen on official visits.

The couple made six trips to the islands between 1949 and 2005.

Their first was before the coronation while their last - nearly six decades later - marked the 60th anniversary of Liberation Day.

Young people were at the front of the crowds during all the royal tours of the islands.

Lt Philip Mountbatten and the then Princess Elizabeth married in November 1947 and for a few years embarked on life as a naval couple.

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The duke thanked the people of Sark for inviting the royal couple to visit

In June 1949, the couple visited the Channel Islands after receiving an invitation from the island of Sark.

They started their tour - an important post-occupation morale boost - in Alderney before travelling to Jersey by battleship and then by torpedo boat to Sark.

"We have heard and read with admiration of your experiences during the war," the duke said in a speech while in Sark.

"The Germans must have found you quite a handful as I understand the occupation force was greater than that of the population."

Afterwards the couple went to Guernsey where they had tea and made presentations on the lawn at Saumarez Park before Princess Elizabeth officially opened the Princess Elizabeth Hospital with a silver key.

They had dinner at the Old Government House Hotel before departing later that evening on HMS Anson.

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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled in a Land Rover through Cambridge Park in St Peter Port, Guernsey on 26 July 1957

On the Queen's accession in 1952, the duke took on royal duties full-time, a role that brought him back to the islands on a number of occasions.

In 1957, the Queen and Prince Philip visited on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

They went to the Guernsey Royal Court and presided over a special States meeting before attending a Chief Pleas meeting at St George's Hall.

More than 6,000 schoolchildren gathered to welcome them at Cambridge Park and the Queen and Prince Philip were presented with gifts for their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

The following day, the royal couple went to Sark - the first ever visit to Sark by a reigning monarch - before returning to Guernsey and flying to Alderney.

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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Breakwater Slipway at the start of their visit to the island of Alderney in 1978
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The Queen and Prince Philip waving to the assembled crowd from the balcony of the Royal Hotel, St Peter Port, in 1978

It would be 21 years before the couple would return, in June 1978, arriving on the Royal Yacht Britannia in St Peter Port Harbour to a 21-gun salute.

Prince Philip also made solo visits to the islands.

Newspaper reports show a smiling duke at Jersey's Variety Performance in 1979, greeting the stars of the era.

It had been organised by Sir Billy Butlin, founder of Butlin holiday camps, who Prince Philip had a long connection with through charity work.

He paid tribute to their friendship by opening the Memorial Hall to Sir Billy in the parish of St John some three years later in 1983.

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The royal couple riding in a horse drawn carriage in Sark in May 1989

Six years later and Prince Philip returned, once again supporting the Queen on a trip to officially open Guernsey's Queen Elizabeth II marina.

The couple delighted the crowds with an unscheduled walkabout and Prince Philip spoke to so many people that the Queen had to wait for him to catch up.

Their final and most recent visits to the islands took place in 2001 and 2005.

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Prince Philip looks amused as the Queen is presented with the unusual gift of two dead ducks on a silver platter in an act of homage by Steve Morgan, Seigneur of the Parish of Trinity, Jersey

In 2001, Prince Philip joined the Queen on a visit to Alderney after she had been in Guernsey.

The couple stopped briefly in Sark before returning together to Guernsey, landing at L'Ancresse to unveil the plaque on the Millennium Stone.

Their visit was completed with a gala dinner at Beau Sejour.

In 2005, the couple marked the 60th anniversary of the islands' liberation from occupation by German forces during World War Two and - for the first time ever - they were on the islands on the anniversary itself.

A thanksgiving service at Beau Sejour was followed by the Queen unveiling a liberation stone before she and the duke embarked on one of their popular walkabouts.

The royal couple then flew to Jersey, visiting Liberation Square to view a musical presentation before the Queen addressed the crowd and met people associated with the occupation and liberation.

Their final visit ended at the De Vere Grand Hotel where they were entertained by the bailiff of Jersey before viewing a fireworks display.

As always, the crowds turned out in their thousands to see the Queen with her husband Prince Philip at her side.

Image caption,
The Queen and Prince Philip on their final visit together to the Channel Islands in May 2005 to mark 60 years since the liberation of the islands from German occupation