The Guernsey Can, the last surviving relic of Guernsey’s Norman ancestry with a pedigree of nearly one thousand years, is the pride of every true Guernsey home, whether granite cottage, farmhouse, or manor of a feudal fief.
It came over from Normandy in France with the original cattle in 980 AD. These cattle were the founders of the world-famous Guernsey Golden breed. The ‘Froment du Leon’ is the most prominent ancestor of the Guernsey Cow, and can still be seen in Brittany. According to the Norman chronicles, the Duke of Normandy sent monks from Mont St. Michel to Guernsey, and they brought the cattle with them.
The can’s shape permits the least loss by “slopping” of the precious milk, so rich in cream and colour.
Guernsey’s wedding gift to H.M. the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and Prince Philip, now Duke of Edinburgh, comprised a set of six, ranging from half-pint to three pints. They bore the seal of the Bailiwick of Guernsey which dates back to reign of Edward 1. Guernsey’s wedding gift to the late Princess Margaret was a Gold Miniature Can. Illustrious visitors to Guernsey such as the late Princess Marina and Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery received these cans as gifts from the States of Guernsey and its people.
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