Citizenship ceremony for 19 immigrants who will ‘enrich community life in Bucks’

Aylesbury social worker Emanuela Popovici and husband Liviu receive their naturalisation certificates from the Duke of Gloucester

Aylesbury social worker Emanuela Popovici and husband Liviu receive their naturalisation certificates from the Duke of Gloucester

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Nineteen immigrants – including an Aylesbury-based social worker from Romania – officially became British citizens during a ceremony attended by the Duke of Gloucester.

The new Brits, who have made their homes across Bucks, come from Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Kenya, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa, USA and Zimbabwe.

Bucks County Council chairman Bill Chapple and his wife Sue with Joyful Divas

Bucks County Council chairman Bill Chapple and his wife Sue with Joyful Divas

As a gift they each received a high quality reproduction of the Magna Carta, signed by King John 800 years ago in 1215.

Aylesbury-based social worker Emanuela Popovici, who is originally from Romania, said: “We just became British citizens and we have the opportunity to meet a royalty. How great is that!”

Emanuela and her family have lived in the country for more than half of their adult lives, and say the UK is their adoptive home.

She added: “The fact that the citizenship ceremony coincides with the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta makes our event even more special, because it is an opportunity to teach our children about Magna Carta and its importance for democracy in Britain.”

The Duke of Gloucester meets Bill Chapple, chairman of Bucks County Council, at Taplow Court

The Duke of Gloucester meets Bill Chapple, chairman of Bucks County Council, at Taplow Court

The ceremony took place at Taplow Court, a former Victorian stately home, in the village of Taplow in South Bucks.

The Duke, who was guest of honour, heard the new British citizens swear allegiance to Queen and country, and presented them with their naturalisation certificates.

Hosts at the ceremony, organised by Bucks County Council’s registration service, were Lord Lieutenant Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher and High Sheriff Francesca Skelton.

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

Martin Phillips, Bucks 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.”

The ceremony is the final stage in granting British citizenship to foreign nationals.

It welcomes new citizens into the community and celebrates the significance of becoming a British citizen.

Everyone who applies for British citizenship is required to take an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the crown, and make a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom.