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Winchester welcomes new British citizens
WITH King Arthur's Round Table looming large, it was a fitting backdrop for a ceremony welcoming new citizens to the United Kingdom.
Winchester's Great Hall hosted a special ceremony with a jubilee theme, where Hampshire residents from Russia, Australia, Ghana, USA, the Philippines, Jamaica, and Malaysia pledged their allegiance to the Queen on Wednesday (October 24).
The ceremony also marked the Registration Service's 175th birthday.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Ken Thornber, said: “Hampshire welcomes over a thousand citizens to the UK every year and these ceremonies celebrate the significance of becoming a British national. “In this special ceremony, to mark the anniversary of civil registration, it has been wonderful to provide our new citizens with a taste of a true British street party, in the same year as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.”
There were 36 people there to complete the final stage of becoming British.
Originally from America, Mrs Kelly Booth, whose husband is a serving British soldier, has been in the UK for nine years and lives at Worthy Down. She said: “Our daughters have dual nationality, so I was the only one not British. My eldest one is very excited that now I am too.”
Also taking British citizenship was 35-year-old Soo Fien Ng, of Sussex Street. Miss Ng, who came to England from the Far East ten years ago to study, works in Winchester as a quantity surveyor.
She said: “It was very important for me to be here. I have wanted to be a citizen for a long time and I'm proud to be British.”