Home > British Culture, Citizenship, Immigration, Monarchy, Songs > Swearing Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen

Swearing Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen


It was a strange day when I had to swear allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. It was a day at the back-end of 2005 (or one of the first few days in 2006. I can’t remember, but my Citizenship Certificate says 2006/01 on it). The location: a hotel in downtown Montreal (The Sheraton, I think – but don’t quote me on that either). And the reason? To become Canadian.

Now, doesn’t it strike you as a little odd that I didn’t have to say as much as “old Betty’s alright by me” to be British, but I did have to promise my loyalty and devotion to her to become Canadian? Yup, it does to me as well.

The actual oath of citizenship goes like this:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

I raised my right hand… or maybe it was the left one, and swore allegiance to the Queen. Shortly after, I half-mumbled, half lip-synced my own illegible lyrics to the tune of O Canada! And, I was in.

Standard procedure I suppose, but I still find it a little difficult to get my head around.

Maybe Canada should have one citizenship process for the Brits that skips this irrelevance, and one for the rest who obviously can’t be trusted not to commit treason without swearing an oath. Just a thought.

  1. Maria
    March 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I never had to swear allegiance either, since I was born here, but my parents did when they got their citizenship. You also have to swear allegiance if you are elected to public office, or if you join the armed forces (I think). Also interesting since you swore in Quebec. As far as I remember, they’re not too keen on “old Betty” or the rest of the monarchy for that matter.

    • March 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

      To be fair, Maria, there are many Brits that are not too keen on old Betty and her clan either. I’m mellowing in my old age, and don’t mind them so much as I used to. But then, that might be because I have to see them a whole lot less on this side of the pond.

  2. March 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    This is funny….quite ironic! Seems as though your bloodline would have been allegiance enough….however you were immigrating! Maybe just a precaution.

    • March 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      A precaution! 🙂 I like it. I think they should make us swear an oath that’s more useful though. Something that benefits Canada. Like, I swear to always choose Tim Hortons coffee over Starbucks. Or I affirm that I will use Canadian maple syrup on my Sunday morning pancakes.

  3. March 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Well, should I decide to spend the £800+ to become a British Citizen, I would have to pledge allegiance to the Queen – never mind that I am Canadian & she is already my Queen & that every week my entire childhood I swore allegiance to her in Guides…

    • March 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      £800? I’m not sure it’s worth the investment! 🙂 Not sure how much it cost me to become Canadian – a few $$$s here, a few there. Must have mounted up.

      Let me ask you, as a Canadian, do you really feel she is your Queen? Living in Quebec, I doubt many would here. But, I could be wrong.

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