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EastEnders Wiki

Etta Tavernier made her first appearance 5 July 1990. She is portrayed by Jacqui Gordon-Lawrence.


Etta was born in Trinidad and married Celestine Tavernier in Jamaica and after the birth of their first son, Clyde Tavernier, in 1968 she joined Celestine in England, later having two more children - twins Lloyd and Hattie Tavernier. Etta decided to train for a job that she knew she could do well - teaching.


Etta and her family move to Albert Square along with Celestine's father Jules Tavernier in 1990, when they are rehoused by the council after Etta acquires a new job teaching at Walford Primary School.

The relationship between Celestine and Clyde was tense so Etta decided to lock them both in the kitchen of their new home, hoping for the men to resolve their differences.

The Taverniers worry when Lloyd has a sickle cell crisis in October 1990 and, after his recovery, Etta and Celestine were determined to keep a close eye on him.

In 1991, Etta was encouraged to apply for the role of headmistress at Walford Primary. She did, but her decision to do so proved unpopular with other members of the school community as she was of a minority background. After facing tough questioning and Eurocentric remarks from one particular member of the school's committee board, she began to question her own suitability as headmistress, but her determination and open-mindedness helped her succeed and she was later offered the role.

In March 1991, tension rose between Etta and Celestine as Etta considered sterilisation, as she felt it was unfair for her and Celestine to have anymore children knowing it could potentially have sickle cell anaemia. Due to Celestine's strong Christian beliefs, he was strongly against the idea. Etta then received a huge shock in April 1991 when she learnt that she was already pregnant and the baby would inherit sickle cell anaemia. She chose to have a termination. Celestine struggled to accept Etta's choice and ultimately grew closer with Yvonne, a student from his Bible studies class. However, soon realising that he could not put his marriage with Etta in jeopardy and that his love for her was undying, he apologised and the pair's marriage became stronger than ever.

Lloyd began hanging out with the wrong crowd, even getting in trouble with the police for joyriding. Celestine received a job promotion in Norwich, prompting Etta to agree to move there with Lloyd for a fresh start. Etta leaves Walford with Celestine and Lloyd in June 1992.

In 1994, Steve Elliot (Hattie's ex-boyfriend) travels to Norwich to try and get back with Hattie after they split in July 1993. Etta informed him that Hattie was out, but Steve waited for her and snooped in her room. Etta spitefully told Steve that Hattie was pregnant with his child but had suffered a miscarriage. She advised Steve to leave and never return again.

Etta returned to Albert Square a few days later to collect the remainder of Hattie's belongings as she decided to stay with her family in Norwich. She attempted to encourage Jules to move up to Norwich too but, when she realised that he was happier living where his friends were, she accepted his decision to stay in Walford and Etta leaves.

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