Bel is Jèrriais for a yard, and many properties are shown on old maps as having an orchard or a bel behind them. Bel Royal was simply the yard belonging to the King where some of the island’s cannon were stored.
Legend has it that Bel Royal was given its name after the future King Charles II stayed there during one of his two visits to the island while in exile during the Civil War. However Jersey’s main historians are generally agreed that there is no truth in this story.
Indeed, it is believed, based on the 17th century diaries of Jean Chevalier, which covered the whole of the period when Charles visited Jersey, that neither he nor his brother ever accepted an invation to stay with any of the island’s gentry, “but the Lords of the Court used to accept, and the King counted this a compliment paid to himself”.
In any case, until the sea wall was built in relatively recent history, the land at Bel Royal was sand dunes with few houses. Today the whole area has been developed, very few open spaces remaining.
Bel Royal was at one end of the street circuit used for the Jersey International Road Race in the late 1940s and early 1950s.