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.
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.