The Lieutenancy Role within Citizenship Ceremonies
In January 2004 the Government introduced a requirement that people aged 18 years or over, who are accepted for naturalisation or registration as British citizens, must take a Citizenship Oath and pledge at a Citizenship Ceremony. This is a memorable and enjoyable event that celebrates the important occasion of becoming a British Citizen.
The ceremony involves prospective citizens making an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom. They are held in our county town, Taunton, to welcome foreign nationals who wish to become citizens of the United Kingdom.
These generally take place every 4 to 6 weeks and are organised by the Somerset Registration Service. At these ceremonies, new citizens are welcomed by a dignitary; either the Lord-Lieutenant, (or one of her deputies), High Sheriff or Chair (or Vice Chair) of Somerset County Council.
The dignitary talks about Somerset and reminds the new citizens of their rights and privileges as well as their responsibility to play their part in our community and society.
The Lieutenancy is proud and privileged to play a part in this important event in people’s lives and, all those involved enjoy the informal role of meeting new citizens and welcoming them to our County.
Different arrangements apply to ceremonies that are also held in North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset, where the Lieutenancy is not involved in those proceedings.