14 August is Falklands Day and commemorates the first sighting of the Falkland Islands on that day in 1592 by the English navigator and explorer, John Davis, on board his 120 ton vessel 'Desire'. Davis (1550-1605) was one of the principal navigators under Queen Elizabeth I.
He came across the uninhabited islands of the Falklands, having been blown off course on an attempt to round Cape Horn through the Straits of Magellan. His account of this voyage was published in 1600 by Richard Hakluyt of London. Davis was born in Sandridge, Devon and owned a small house on the harbor shore of Plymouth, commemorated by the City Council with a blue plaque.
431 years later, the barren non inhabited Islands have become a dynamic, resilient, prosperous, democratic community and in this inspired day have received a torrent of congratulations and commitments beginning with King Charles III, members of the government cabinet and Parliament, with the Falklands flag and crest flying in Westminster and at the Foreign Office.
On the occasion, the elected Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly released the following message,
431 years ago, on the 14th August 1592, English explorer John Davis recorded the first sighting of the Falkland Islands from aboard the vessel the ‘Desire’.
These wild and prosperous lands have given us all so much to be thankful for. In these turbulent times, we are fortunate to have the resources the Islands provide, but must never take these for granted. The strong wind events of just last weekend, as well as the slow drying of our land remind us all of the effects of climate change on our land and sea, and the huge tasks ahead to meet the challenges it will present. The Falklands people also showed their fortitude and resourcefulness last weekend, as we have throughout our history. Our thanks go to those who continue to work for a brighter future and respectfully guard it for the next generations.We hope you are choosing to commemorate the discovery of our Islands in a way most befitting to you.
Happy Falklands Day!
Members of the Legislative Assembly
King Charles III message,
I extend my warmest congratulations to you Chair of the Legislative Assembly, and the people of the Falkland Islands as it marks Falklands Day.
I look forward to the continuing warm friendship and the strong and close patnership we share, working together for prosperity, democracy and peace, as we face these challenging times.
As you, as the people of the Falkland Islands, celebrate today, my wife joins me in sending you our warmest good wishes for years ahead.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly twitted, The Falklands are British. The UK will always defend the Islanders’ right to decide their own future. Happy Falklands Day
David Rutley MP, As Minister for the Overseas Territories, I send my best wishes to everyone celebrating Falklands Day. The UK will always defend the Islanders’ right of self-determination.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, We are flying two British Overseas’ Territories flags in New Palace Yard today - the flag of the Falkland Islands to mark Falklands Day and the flag of Tristan da Cunha to mark the island's Anniversary Day
Stephen Doughty MP, Shadow minister Foreign, Commonwealth and Development, Happy #FalklandsDay to all my friends in #Stanley and #Camp and all the people of the Falkland Islands. As @UKLabour we will stand with you resolutely in defence of your sovereignty and self-determination. I very much hope to get a chance to visit again soon!
Other MPs include Alicia Kearns, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mark Jenkinson MP, and Guy Opperman, minister in the current British cabinet
British embassies in Montevideo and Santiago twitted their support, Happy Falklands Day: today we celebrate the diverse and vibrant culture of the Islands and its inhabitants, whose historic link with Uruguayans continues to strengthen, Ambassador O'Connor in Uruguay.
Many happiness to those who today are celebrating Falklands Day. UK will always defend the right to self determination of the people of the Islands”, UK embassy in Chile.