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HRH visits the island of Herm in the English Channel

23rd June 2004

The Prince of Wales became the first member of the Royal Family in living memory to set foot on the tiny island of Herm in the English Channel.

The Prince was visiting the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey on the 800th anniversary of both islands' allegiance to the Crown.

Gale force winds made it a bumpy boat ride to the tiny windswept island, but despite bad weather, a large number of the sixty inhabitants turned out to greet The Prince.

Located three miles east of Guernsey, Herm is a 15 minute journey from St Peter Port Harbour.

The Prince was met at Herm by Adrian and Pennie Heyworth, the island's managers, who showed him around the tiny island and introduced him to many of the inhabitants.

Herm is a mile and a half long and half a mile wide and has only one hotel, two pubs and no cars.

Pennie Heyworth, who showed The Prince around the small island, is the daughter of Peter and Jenny Wood, who became the first tenants of Herm in 1949. After the Second World War, Herm was derelict and abandoned, but the Guernsey authorities saw potential and bought it from the British Crown.

The Prince visited Herm School and was shown into the classroom by the head boy, nine-year-old Daniel Rowe.

The Prince sat with all nine of the pupils, comprised of seven boys and two girls, and chatted to six-year-old Jack Noble who showed him a letter he was writing.

“I'm very impressed with the letter,” The Prince said. “It's very important to write letters - not just texting and emailing.”

Headteacher Janet Sandrey said afterwards that the youngsters had been brushing up on the history of the monarchy.

“They were absolutely clueless about the Royal Family before and now they're really excited,” she said.

“It's a very special occasion. We don't get many visitors at all - let alone royalty.”

The Prince met Herm's youngest inhabitant - eight-week old Sophie Elizabeth, who stayed asleep as she was cradled by her mother Sandra Bird.

Ms Bird, 31, who moved to the island six years ago from Newark, Nottinghamshire, said: “She the newest resident. Prince Charles asked us if we went to Guernsey to have her, which we did.

“It's very important for him to come here. It's the first time for one of the members of the Royal Family.”

The Prince took a stroll along the sandy South Coast Cliff Path, and admired the clear waters and the local flora which includes an array of tropical looking palm trees before taking a boat back to Guernsey.