Client Weekly Update – Friday 16 September

Queens Grandchildren to hold vigil

The Queen’s grandchildren are expected to honour her memory by holding a vigil at her coffin.  Harry will reportedly join his brother the Prince of Wales and cousins Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall in mounting a vigil around the Queen’s coffin on Saturday.

Despite being a former Army officer he has been in civilian dress for official events, including walking behind his grandmother’s coffin on Wednesday when it was carried to Westminster Hall to lie in state. Harry will reportedly join his brother the Prince of Wales and cousins Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall in mounting a vigil around the Queen’s coffin on Saturday.

An exception has been made for the disgraced Duke of York, who is no longer a working royal but will wear his military uniform as a “special mark of respect” for the Queen when he stands guard around her coffin during a vigil with his siblings on this evening.

Breath-taking serenity in Westminster Hall

Mourners who queued for eight hours overnight to pay their respects to the Queen have described the “breath-taking” serenity in Westminster Hall where “you could hear a pin drop” in the silence. People have travelled from all over the country and waited since 1am for the chance to visit the Queen lying in state. Three well-wishers who befriended each other in the queue said there had been a friendly “camaraderie” among the crowds, despite miserable weather, before an atmosphere of sombre reflection inside the hall. Amy Harris, 34, and Matthew Edwards, 35, met James Cross, 65, after getting the train to London from Birmingham to join the queue at about 1am.

Mr Edwards said: “Everyone was offering biscuits, drinks,” adding that the three were now planning to have a pint together after the long wait. The atmosphere in Westminster Hall was “breath-taking,” Ms Harris said. “When you’re able to go in and have a moment to look at it and reflect, the serenity of it – to be able to pay your respects in such a serene place, it’s very peaceful. ” The British public are showing a “great response” by queueing in large numbers to pay their respects to the Queen, Downing Street said.

Prime Minister Liz Truss’s official spokesperson said: “People of the United Kingdom are demonstrating not only their commitment, their respect for the Queen, but respect for each other in queuing in such a responsible way and showing sort of a great response to this situation.” The official also said it is “no surprise” that such a large number of people want to honour the Queen in this way, that there are “large numbers of people on hand to help” and that it is “great to see everyone pitching in”.

Ms Truss has no plans to speak to people in the queue, he said. Carl Hankinson, who is among volunteers to monitor the queue throughout Victoria Gardens, said Scouts had been “on their feet 12 hours” a day to help ensure the smooth running of admissions. The Scout, who once met the Queen at a garden party, said: “She was fantastic in every way – she was interested in Scouts, she was conversational, very encouraging and very supportive of young people.”

Tree planting initiative extended

A tree-planting initiative to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has been extended to allow people to plant trees as a memorial to the monarch. The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) scheme was launched to encourage people to “Plant a tree for the Jubilee” from the start of the tree-planting season in October 2021 through to the end of 2022, to mark her 70 years on the throne.

It has now been extended to include the full autumn-to-spring tree planting season, concluding at the end of March 2023, to give people the opportunity to plant trees in the Queen’s memory. More than a million trees were planted for the project during the first planting season of the Platinum Jubilee year, from October 2021 to March 2022, by communities, schools, organisations and individuals.

In a statement, the scheme’s organisers said: “Following the wishes of our patron, His Majesty The King, the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative will be extended to the end of March 2023 to give people the opportunity to plant trees in memoriam to honour Her Majesty. “The extension of the QGC initiative will build on this legacy and serve as a lasting tribute to Her Majesty’s extraordinary service to her country and her people.” Trees and woods dedicated to the Queen as a part of the scheme include 12,000 trees planted to help “re-nature” the South Downs National Park, an underwater kelp forest in Plymouth Sound National Marine Park, and an urban woodland in Bradford.

The Earl of Wessex even planted a tree in Aberdare National Park in Kenya, close to the Treetops Hotel where the 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth was staying at the historic moment she became Queen. As well as the extension of the initiative, the interactive map created by the Queen’s Green Canopy to showcase planting projects across the UK will continue to the end of March 2023.

Chief Minister and Jersey politicians to attend the lying in state of Queen Elizabeth II

This weekend, a Delegation from Jersey will go to London to see Queen Elizabeth II’s lying-in-state.

Before Her Majesty’s burial on Monday, thousands of mourners have been waiting in line for hours to pay their respects to her.

Chief Minister Kristina Moore, Deputy Chief Minister Kirsten Morel, chair of the Privileges and Procedures Committee Karen Shenton-Stone, president of the Scrutiny Liaison Committee Sam Mézec and chair of the Constables’ Committee Mike Jackson will attend Westminster Hall on Saturday.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport issued tickets at the Earl Marshal’s Office’s request for the Jersey delegation.

The permits will allow the delegation to enter the Queen’s lying-in-state without standing in line.

On Monday, the funeral will be attended by the bailiff and acting lieutenant governor, Sir Timothy Le Cocq.

New Covid guidance

NEW Covid guidance has been issued by the government ahead of a predicted rise in cases over winter. Islanders are still being urged to get vaccinated if eligible and stay at home if they fall ill, but advice on how long to isolate and when to take lateral-flow tests has been amended. The Health Department has also confirmed that ‘government-led mass testing’ is likely to be reduced after the winter.

Following a review of the government’s Covid strategy, from next Tuesday:

*Guidance to take two LFTs per week will end.

*Advice on when to leave isolation after a positive test will be simplified. Two negative LFTs 24 hours apart from day five will no longer be strongly recommended. Instead, Islanders who test positive will be asked to stay at home for a minimum of five days and until they have been symptom-free for 48 hours.

*Guidance to take an LFT test before visiting a vulnerable person will remain in place.

*Staff working in ‘Safe Places’ – vulnerable settings such as care homes and the Hospital – will continue to have enhanced testing regimes, such as twice-weekly LFTs.

The government has also confirmed that free PCR tests will remain available at the Airport drive-through for people who have Covid symptoms or have had a positive LFT test, and the self-booking system will remain unchanged.

Free LFT tests will also remain available for all Islanders to order online.

Jersey Bus sold

JERSEY’s bus service has been sold to Australia’s biggest land and marine transport provider. The HCT Group has announced the sale of both of its Channel Island businesses – LibertyBus in Jersey and CT Plus in Guernsey – to Tower Transit, which is part of the Adelaide-based Kelsian Group Limited.

The news comes not long after the HCT Group ended the services of two of its UK subsidiaries, CT Plus Yorkshire and Powell’s Bus, due to the financial impact of the pandemic, a surge in fuel prices and the cost-of-living crisis.

The company’s chief executive, Lynn McClelland, said: ‘We are very proud of the work we’ve done in Jersey and we believe that the services there could not be in better hands. ‘Tower Transit and Kelsian are noted for their high-quality services, their international reach and resources and their extensive experience with the electrification of bus services and other sustainable technologies, currently high on everybody’s agenda.’

She added: ‘It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the people of Jersey for the past ten years. We are grateful to the Government of Jersey for the spirit of partnership that has characterised our work together. We are certain that we leave behind a strong foundation for the future development of the bus service.’

LibertyBus director Kevin Hart said: ‘We are confident that the transition will occur without any disruption to services and that there are no plans to change routes or tickets or branding. ‘ The aim is to maintain the existing teams in place with their extensive local experience and track record of success.’ Tower Transit also operates international public transport contracts in Singapore and London.

Managing director Samuel Ribeiro said: ‘The Group are delighted to take over the reins of LibertyBus and thank HCT Group for their commitment and their positive collaboration with the Government of Jersey over the years. Our aim is to maintain a business-as-usual approach whilst drawing on the experience and capabilities of the Group in the future.‘ We proudly serve several Island communities in Australia and look forward to extending this high-quality service to the people of Jersey.’

Young super-wealthy immigrants are changing the face of high-net-worth migration in Jersey

Young, super-wealthy immigrants are changing the face of high-net-worth migration in Jersey, according to some estate agents. Harry Trower, a director at Broadlands, said that the demographic of prospective high-net-worth individuals coming to the Island had become younger – bringing a shift in housing needs, with less interest in properties worth over £10 million.

As of December last year, there were 184 people living in Jersey who had arrived under the so-called 2(1)e licence scheme, or its previous iterations, which give wealthy immigrants special residency and housing rights, plus preferential tax status.

There were 23 applications approved during 2021, while from 2018 to 2020 an average of 19 applications were accepted each year. As of yesterday, there were 28 properties listed online with asking prices over £10 million.

Mr Trower said: ‘People don’t want to spend that kind of money over here. “High-net-worths” that come to the Island tend to spend a minimum of £2.5m and they tend to go up to about £8m.”

Some of the reasons for that are that they don’t know how long they’re going to spend in Jersey and they don’t want to pay the stamp duty on properties over the £10m mark, as the jump is considerably higher than properties below that point.

‘There is a new demographic of high-net-worths who are in their 40s, 30s and even 20s. They don’t want to spend huge amounts in Jersey; they are younger people who want to enjoy their family life.’

Roger Trower, owner and chief executive of Broadlands, added that not everyone wanted to pay for a big estate, which cost a lot to maintain. ‘Some high-net-worths will have come from large estates in the UK and they don’t want to be constantly surrounded by gardeners and cleaners. ‘They want a simple life and to enjoy their wealth,’ he said. ‘Covid has taught us all a lesson; more people are working remotely and some realise they can move themselves to Jersey, while we have easy access to other markets such as London.’

One high-price property which remains on the market is a mansion in Trinity called Maison de la Valette. It was put up for sale in September 2021 with a £39.95m price tag. If the property achieves its asking price, it will regain the title of the most expensive home on the Island.

Maison de la Valette was previously known as the priciest mansion in Jersey after it sold for £25m in September 2016. But it was overtaken by Eden House, in St Brelade, which was bought for £31m in April last year.

‘Younger people can now work from home and they often tend to look for a family-sized office or something in the style of a boardroom rather than a small study,’ he said. ‘Jersey remains an attractive destination for high-net-worth individuals and the balance of quality of life and attractive taxation is appealing for people.

Mixed Markets

London’s FTSE 100 is lower by 0.49% today. European markets are also broadly lower with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 1.78% while France’s CAC 40 is off 1.41%.

Yesterday afternoon, US stocks fell for the second time in three days as the latest economic reports gave investors little reassurance that inflation is under control. The Nasdaq falls 1.4%, the S&P slipped 1.1% and the Dow lost 0.56%.

Asian markets finished broadly lower today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is down 2.30% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 is off 1.11% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is lower by 0.81%.