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What happens in a typical citizenship ceremony?
A citizenship ceremony may vary slightly depending on where it is held but all ceremonies will contain several common elements, such as a speech made by the registrar, an oath of allegiance and affirmation of allegiance.
This page shows what a typical citizenship ceremony will be like. It will give you an idea about what to expect at your ceremony.
Introductory speech made by the registrar
"Good afternoon everyone, my name is .....................On behalf of the Government of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second and North Yorkshire County Council, I would like to welcome you all here today for this citizenship ceremony. For you, this is the final step in the process of becoming a British Citizen, which will welcome you to this nation and into our community.
The citizenship ceremony is a rite of passage that formally welcomes those who wish to join us into full membership of the British family, and into citizens of the United Kingdom, a state built on a union of nations, beliefs and common civic values. We are here today to extend this welcome to you and to confer the honour of citizenship upon you.
I would like to emphasise that there will be plenty of opportunity for photographs at the end of the ceremony. In particular today, I have great pleasure inviting the Chair of North Yorkshire County Council to welcome you on behalf of the local community."
Citizenship ceremony speech by the Chair of North Yorkshire County Council
"May I, on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council, extend a very warm welcome to everyone here who has decided to make North Yorkshire their home. The County Council is working hard to improve the quality of everyone's life by encouraging all citizens to work together to make the area a better place in which to live, work and play.
North Yorkshire, I believe is England's most beautiful county with two national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors, the Vale of York and unrivalled beauty of the East Coast, few counties can match the contrasts available in North Yorkshire. One of our key aims is to protect this heritage so that our children and their children can enjoy it.
And of course you will be joining the historic and probably the best known of all British communities when you say you are from "Yorkshire".
The County Council together with other partner agencies provides the services which will ensure your quality of life. We take pride in being a responsive County Council, providing you with excellent and efficient local services.
In a few moments you will be invited to take a pledge. This pledge is more than just words. You will be asked to say that you will uphold the democratic values that this country holds so dear. We pride ourselves on our rights and freedoms that have been developed over many centuries. Rights and freedoms that are precious to us. Rights and freedoms that men and women have fought and died for.
One of the important purposes of the ceremony today is to remind all participants of the responsibilities that go with being a British Citizen. The values and principles that underpin British society are extremely important. Being a United Kingdom citizen you will have duties and obligations, not just to uphold the democratic values of this country or respect the laws, but also duties and obligations to be a good citizen and to contribute to your community. A respect for law and order, valuing freedom of speech, defending the individual's right to have their own opinion, tolerance and respect for other peoples' belief are all fundamental to playing a key role in UK society. Equally important is participation in your local community. Participation can be in many ways, but every little we give back helps us make this a better place to live both now and for future generations.
It only remains for me to end by congratulating you on choosing to become UK citizens."
Introduction to the ceremony proper by the registrar
"Congratulations to you all on attaining British nationality and I hope you continue to make a major contribution to our community. To be a British Citizen means that you should show tolerance and respect for others. Today, as part of this ceremony, I am going to be asking you to make promises and swear an oath or affirm your allegiance to the Sovereign that you will be a faithful citizen. I will also be asking you to make a formal and public pledge that you will be a loyal subject and observe the laws of this country.
Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand.
Please repeat after me, stating your name after the word 'I':"
Oath of allegiance
I (name) swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British Citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law.
"Now, those of you who have chosen to affirm the oath please repeat, again stating your name after the word 'I':"
Affirmation of allegiance
I (name) do solemnly, sincerely, truly declare and affirm that on becoming a British Citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law.
"And if you would all now repeat the Pledge of Commitment after me:"
Pledge (to be said by all)
I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.
Presentation of certificates and closing words
"We welcome you on behalf of the Queen, Government, Parliament and people of the United Kingdom and of North Yorkshire County Council to British citizenship, by which is extended to you the right to participate fully in civil society.
I will now call each of you in turn to receive your certificate from the Chair of North Yorkshire County Council and you will have the opportunity to have your photograph taken with him/her."
Closing statement by the registrar
"From this day forward you can enjoy your new status as a British citizen. You have made an oath and a pledge that you will be a faithful subject to the Sovereign and a true and loyal citizen of the United Kingdom. May you find your lives enriched, and in turn, may you enrich the lives of others and your community.
Ladies and Gentlemen, will you all please stand and give a round of applause to welcome our fellow British citizens."
Playing of the National Anthem