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IVY'S CITIZENSHIP CEREMONY - 4 January 2005, 2 PM. Shire Hall, Cambridge.

Having been in England for three years, I became eligible to apply for British citizenship. This involves swearing an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen. Once citizenship is granted, citizens are eligible to vote and to apply for a British passport. Although I originally applied in August 2004, it took a few months for the paperwork to be approved and for a ceremony to be booked. So the ceremony finally happened on 4 January, at the County Registry Office in Cambridge.

Before leaving for the ceremony

Memorising the Oath

Receiving the Certificate

I am now  officially British Citizen.

Posing with a picture of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

David supported me all the way through.

Another picture with the Queen

At the reception hall, where all the new British citizens had refreshments after the ceremony.

Being a British, the refreshments involved a cup of tea.

A typical Englishman, stuffing himself with tea and biscuits. (He still ate a huge Ivy-cooked dinner ....)

The Oath of Allegiance:

I, Ivy Bell, 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.

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.

Having British citizenship doe snot mean that I lose my Philippine citizenship. But when travelling under my Philippine passport, I could claim the protection of the Philippine authorities, but not the British ones. A big advantage of having dual citizenship is that it can make travel simpler in places where the visa rules are different for the different states. For example, for British citizens, no visa is required for the Schengen states on continental Europe such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain.