“Do you think it’s OK if I wear my bike clothes to the swearing in ceremony?” my husband asked, on our way out the door.
I thought about it for a second. “Um…no?”
We were on our way to the local Town Hall to obtain our British citizenship. Though I don’t usually stand on ceremony, something told me that showing up to pledge your loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen in neon cycling attire might not cut it in our adopted country.
I was right.
I have no idea how they do citizenship ceremonies in the United States, but in the United Kingdom, it’s a big deal. You process into this grandiose chamber that looks like a mini House of Commons – replete with a horseshoe of ornate green chairs centered round a main dais – and then stand – in unison – as the Mayor of your Borough (county) is announced and marches in.
I don’t say “marches” lightly. She was dressed in a bright red cloak with fur lining. Around her shoulders was a Chain of Office covered in silver shields. The gentleman escorting her into the chamber was carrying an enormous, four-foot long golden mace which he set on a table in front of the Mayor. This over-sized scepter had the curiously menacing effect, as if none of us would-be citizens should dare speak out of turn whilst it was laid before us. A large photo of Queen Elizabeth II sat to the right.
Read the rest of this post over at The Broad Side (“Real Women. Real Opinions.”) where I’m now a contributor…