The Isle of Man celebrate Tynwald Day in Royal company

The Princess Royal was a special guest at an annual open-air sitting of the Isle of Man's parliament, on their National Day. She was treated to some traditional music and dancing and an RAF flypast.

Princess Anne represented the Queen as the Manx government passed its latest laws on Tynwald Day in the village of St John.

Prince Royal is the special guest at Tynwald Day

Tynwald is the oldest parliament in the world and one of the most unique. The siting isn't just symbolic but needs to happen by law.

99 year old James Fenton, a WW2 Burma veteran said when he came to the island he knew it had lots to explore and had a proud history and he's always enjoyed learning more over the decades.

James Fenton enjoys finding out more about the island's proud history

What is Tynwald Day?

The 5th July is the National Day of the Isle of Man, otherwise known as Tynwald Day.

It is the only day when the Manx parliament is held on Tynwald Hill in St John's, instead of the Manx Parliament in Douglas and the public can lobby lawmakers by presenting petitions.

Away from the politics there is dancing, music and fireworks.

Traditional dress part of the Tynwald Day celebrations Credit:

It began with the Vikings

Norsemen first came to the island in about 800AD and ruled for over 400 years. During that time they established Tynwald, a parliament for passing legislation.

The Princess Royal will preside over the annual open-air sitting of the Isle of Man's parliament on Monday. Credit: itv

Historians have traced its origins back to 979AD, making it the world's longest continuous parliament.

Tynwald day celebrated on Tynwald Hill in St John's - land linked to their past Viking rulers

The Manx Parliament meet on Tynwald Hill in St Johns for a ceremony, a legal requirement established by the Island's ninth century rulers.

The hill is said to have been built by the Vikings and contained soil from each of the 17 island parishes.

Tynwald day when people can petition and raise issues for the Parliament to discuss

How is Tynwald Day celebrated?

Tynwald meets regularly during the year, but on Tynwald Day it is held outside and anyone may present a Petition for Redress. The Petitions can be taken up by members of Tynwald and put to the parliament. Many pieces of legislation in the Isle of Man have been passed using this process.

Traditionally the day was marked with a fair but nowadays it's a much bigger event with concerts, family ceildh, firework displays, stalls and displays.

The Manx name for this plant is "Bollan bane", which means "white herb", known also as Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)

The island's national herb 'Bollane bane', known also as Mugwort is usually worn by Manx residents and officials. The herb was used in the past to treat fevers.

The Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh attended Tynwald Day in 2003 Credit: PA

Prince Charles inspecting the Battalion of the Grenadier Guards in Tynwald Day in 2000.

Prince Charles inspecting the Grenadier guards back in 2000 on Tynwald Day

Tynwald Procession

Before Tynwald sits, the individual presiding inspects the Guard of honour and lays a wreath at the National War Memorial, which was inaugurated in 1923.

The path from the memorial to Tynwald Hill is strewn with rushes; the tradition is traceable to the Celtic custom of gaining favour of the sea god Manannan by offering bundles of rushes on Midsummer's Eve. The path is lined with numerous flagpoles, which fly both the red national flag and the blue parliamentary flag.

Flags are a big part of the Tynwald procession

Read more:

Tynwald Day July 5th 2021 - what's planned