Guernsey is an island in the English Channel that is considered a ‘Dependence of the British Crown’. Together with Jersey, it is considered a Channel Island. The country, surprisingly, is closer to France than England. It was an important harbor and trading point between the English and French for hundreds of years. It became a permanent part of English’s sphere of influence in the 17th century when William III abolished its neutrality. They maintain their own paper money and even a few have included a portrait of an English monarch. Guernsey was occupied by Germany early in WWII and then liberated in May 1945. Since then, they have provided through most of the 20th century its banknotes to pre-WWII English banknotes, elegantly designed but focused more on graphics than people or pictures. But in 1996 the country began using a contemporary Queen Elizabeth II portrait on its paper currency. It also began using beautiful pastel pinks and blues plus lighthouses and sailing ships on their banknotes. The current Guernsey banknotes really stand out from other QEII banknotes because of their bright colors and the broad smile on QEII.
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