Almost 24 hours of being British

I am now a British citizen

They even put stars around my last name… 😉

I received my Certificate of naturalisation yesterday and am now a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. The ceremony was a small affair of five of us pledging, a handful of guests, and two employees of the Register Office in Maidenhead. We all were given our own packets of information (a welcome pack, plus how to apply for a British passport), and a commemorative medallion of the Royal Borough.
Here’s me holding my pledge script just before the start of things.
About to read my affirmation

Something that amused me greatly… There were two Americans in the room (I’m assuming the guy was American by his accent) and when they played the National Anthem at the end of the ceremony, I couldn’t help but to sing the words — in my head! — I was programmed with from childhood… My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing…
That’s right, for those of you who don’t know, America shares a patriotic tune with the British! Here, it is God Save the Queen but in America we know it as My Country, ‘Tis of Thee (America). I wonder if the other American was experiencing the same cultural confusion.

I’ll be applying for a British passport before the end of the year, and that should make travel much easier in general. Neil and I already do IRIS (an iris recognition security entrance thing) but that’s only installed in the British airports; when we land in the EU, I currently go to the ‘other’ queue for foreign passports. It’ll be nice to fast-track with other EU citizens.

After that, I’ll look into registering to vote. It feels good knowing I now have a say in the democratic process. I went to great lengths to vote in the last US presidential election (I’ve never missed one) and to be able to vote here feels great.

It’ll be strange the next time I fill out an official form, pen poised above the blank for Nationality. Having dual citizenship is an odd but wonderful feeling.

13 thoughts on “Almost 24 hours of being British”

  1. Obviously you scraped the citizenship tests, you’re actually showing emotion in public – “wonderful feeling” indeed.

    You’re supposed to bottle that up, along with anger, and quietly stew – that’s the British way. It’s probably a good thing we don’t have guns 🙂

  2. 😛
    Yes, I know I’m failing at the emotion thing… but I’ve been spelling ‘colour’ properly for years, so perhaps these things cancel each other out? 😉

  3. Out of curiosity, now that you’re a dual-citizen, would you be allowed to travel to US embargoed nations like Cuba without threat of legal complications that strictly US citizens have to deal with? btw, congrats on becoming a British Citizen!!!

  4. Aaaahhh, bless you! You’ll have to go and have Cream Teas and crumpets…and cucumber sandwiches etc. Then you’ll be properly British 🙂

  5. Cream teas could be a problem as I’m not keen on clotted cream, milky tea, or raisins/sultanas… but I’ve like crumpets for longer than I’ve lived here. The one British thing I just can’t get with is the need for mayo on everything. As long as the cucumber sandwiches have butter instead, I’m there! 😀

  6. Traditionally they would be made with butter, definitely not mayo. (I’m not particularly fond of mayo either).

  7. Congratulations!

    Worth getting going on the voting registration as soon as possible, just in case they decide to call a snap election, although they have to call it before June anyway. Your local council should be doing the annual revision of the register now anyway, certainly we’ve just sent back our form.

    It’s slightly academic now, but a foreign national is able to come through the British line coming into the UK if you were travelling with a spouse or other close relation with a British passport. We were told that by a passport officer at Gatwick one time Beth spent ages queuing in the foreign nationals line when she pointed me out to the officer when I was waiting behind him, and a cousin was told the same when she queued in the foreign nationals line because her baby daughter only had a Canadian passport.

  8. Thank you Richard! The passport queue is a funny thing– I’ve been told to go into the non-EU queue after having been told on a previous flight that I could. Seems like some of the officials miss out on the memos… On the Brit side, IRIS typically does me quickly and there’s NEVER a queue for it. I wonder if people are just paranoid about the technology.

    And DaddyP… you’re looking for me to dump Mr Dixon and run away with you with that language, aren’tcha? 😉
    (And thank you :D)

  9. Been out of your loop for a while.

    Congratulations on…well, everything!

    Have you picked up an accent yet?
    Can you have triple citizenship after you move to Spain?

    That’s it for the questions. I’ll research what a “crumpit” is on my own.

    (note to self: get passport soon)

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