Duke of Glouces­ter on hand as new cit­i­zens swear al­le­giance

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

NEW cit­i­zens re­ceived a royal welcome on July 1 as HRH The Duke of Glouces­ter was guest of hon­our at a cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony.

Maria Ver­steeg, from Ger­rards Cross, was one of 19 peo­ple hon­oured at an event which saw new Bri­tish cit­i­zens swear al­le­giance to Queen and coun­try.

The cer­e­mony, held to mark the 800th an­niver­sary of Magna Carta, was held at Taplow Court, the for­mer Vic­to­rian stately home.

The Duke pre­sented the new cit­i­zens with their nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion cer­tifi­cates.

Lord Lieu­tenant Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher and High Sher­iff Francesca Skel­ton, were hosts at the cer­e­mony.

The Joy­ful Di­vas, the choir of the Buck­ing­hamshire Fed­er­a­tion of WIs, lead singing of the na­tional an­them dur­ing the cer­e­mony and sang pop­u­lar num­bers be­fore and af­ter.

The new cit­i­zens, who have made their homes in Buck­ing­hamshire, also re­ceived a re­pro­duc­tion of the Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215 at Run­nymede, on the banks of the Thames ten miles down­stream from Taplow.

Ms Ver­steeg, who moved to Ger­rards Cross from the Nether­lands 18 years ago, said she was proud and priv­i­leged to be­come a Bri­tish citizen.

She said: “I have ex­pe­ri­enced full ac­cep­tance, tol­er­ance and kind­ness from mem­bers of my com­mu­nity and in the work­place.”

She added: “I’m hon­oured to live in a coun­try where the value of free­dom and rights have been in place for the last 800 years and con­tinue to be at the fore­front of all de­ci­sion­mak­ing.

“It truly makes me feel

ROYAL WELCOME: The Duke of Glouces­ter meets Bill Chap­ple, chair­man of the Bucks CC, at Taplow Court fully in­cluded and is typ­i­cal of the thought­ful­ness that I have ex­pe­ri­enced in the 18 years I have been liv­ing and work­ing here.”

Martin Phillips, Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil cab­i­net mem­ber for com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and public health, said: “We’re de­lighted to welcome new res­i­dents from such a wide range of na­tion­al­i­ties and cul­tures who will en­rich our com­mu­nity life in Buck­ing­hamshire.”

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