Daily Archives:December 23rd, 2013

Do you renounce all other princes?

It does sound from this Guardian article rather as if Ruth Walker’s main aim in becoming a U.S. citizen was to write an article about the embarrassing naturalization ceremony and to mock the country that has just accepted her.

(As an aside, I’m always surprised when people complain about US immigration and security controls at airports. The staff have invariably been polite to me, and often friendly and good-humoured, in what must be a ghastly job. Brits who complain about the process have clearly never experienced what happens to foreigners arriving at Heathrow. But I digress…)

Anyway, it may be that Ms Walker found the ceremony laughable because she knows that the country as a whole was worthy of better. I hope so. I hope, too, that we don’t impose anything so toe-curlingly trite on people becoming subjects of Her Majesty. Mmm. Perhaps we do.

I rather suspect, however, that we go to the other cynical extreme, and just make new arrivals take a pointless test and charge them lots of money. Is that right? Anyone been through it? That would be a much more British approach…

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser