Not that Jersey (though it is named after this one), this Jersey (Jèrriais: Jèrri), officially known as the Bailiwick of Jersey (French: Bailliage de Jersey; Jèrriais: Bailliage dé Jèrri), is a island and British Crown Dependency (Meaning that while it is not part of the United Kingdom and has an international identity separate from that of the UK, the UK is constitutionally responsible for the defence of Jersey) located just west of Normandy, France, and is one of the Channel Islands. The capital and largest city is Saint Helier, and while Jersey does have its own language, the Norman language Jèrriais, most people there speak English and they use the British pound as their primary currency, though they have their own banknotes and coins.
Jersey was part of the Dutchy of Normandy, a Vassal of the Kingdom of France, whose dukes went on to become kings of England from 1066. The region was taken over by Philip II of France, and mainland Normandy became a part of France, but Jersey and the other Channel Islands remained under English control under the Treaty of Paris in 1259. Before the Dutchy of Normandy, it was part of Neustria, the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks. Due to being a former part of France, Jersey has a notable French influence, with many signs and laws being in both English and French, many names of places there being French and the provinces being known as parishes, but the primary language is still English. The island was also occupied by Germany from July 1st, 1940 until May 9th, 1945 (Being one of the last places in Europe to be liberated from the Nazis), and many fortifications were built there using Soviet slave labour.
The territory is a notable tax haven, lacking VAT (Value added tax) and making luxury goods there cheaper than in the UK and France, attracting tourists from those neighboring countries because of that. Jersey does have it's own goods and services tax (GST) at a standard rate of 5%, however, and food is not exempt from it unlike VAT.
Notable Jersey natives or inhabitants include:
- Actor Henry Cavill was born in Jersey, in Saint Helier.
- Writer Victor Hugo lived on the island from 1852 to 1855 after being exiled from France by Napoleon III. Then he was expelled to Guernsey.
- British comedian William James "Will" Smith (not to be confused with the American rapper/actor) grew up in Jersey.
The Jersey flag