Sixteen Overseas Territories (OTs), including the Virgin Islands (VI), and three Crown Dependencies of the United Kingdom have had their heraldic shields immortalised as part of a stained glass window set commissioned at Speaker's House in the New Palace of Westminster.
Unveiled on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, the windows will be a permanent and tangible reminder of the ‘strong and close’ links between the UK, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay H. Hoyle detailed.
The two windows represent "part of our United Kingdom family", he said while adding that "Every single person coming into Speaker's House will be reminded of how closely we are connected.
"In my opinion, the OTs and Dependencies have been overlooked for too long - yet many of the decisions we make here in the UK have a huge impact on their futures,” the Speaker added.
Virgin Islands (VI) Premier and Minister
of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley takes a photo at the new
stained glass window.
Speaker seeing platform for OT representation
“They are important to me – they are part of our United Kingdom family - and I want to provide them with a platform on which to speak, to air their concerns, to share experiences and to enable us to learn from each other."
"From now on, every single person coming into Speaker’s House will be reminded of how closely we are connected," he said.
Attending the unveiling ceremony on behalf of the Virgin Islands
(VI) were Governor John J. Rankin, GMG, Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), Deputy Premier Hon Lorna G. Smith OBE (AL), Financial Secretary Jeremiah G.A. Frett, Premier's Office Permanent Secretary Ms Carolyn E. Stout Igwe and Director of the London Office Tracy Bradshaw.
The windows were commissioned by UK Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Hoyle, and designed by John Reyntien to honour the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies with the inclusion of their respective coat of arms to provide a visible and long-lasting presence in the Houses of Parliament.
The stained glass windows feature coats of arms from Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Ascension, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territories, [British] Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.