It was my great honour last Monday to conduct a Citizenship Ceremony at the Old Courthouse in Hatfield, welcoming 25 new citizens to the County of Hertfordshire.
As part of my welcoming speech I highlighted how much the UK has benefited from immigrants over the centuries and how much we welcome their presence. I spoke about Hertfordshire, a county where vibrant new towns have been developed alongside ancient market towns dating from the Middle Ages and earlier. A county which has played an important part in Britain’s history, not least being home to the young Queen Elizabeth I at the magnificent Hatfield House. But also a thoroughly modern country - home to a diversity of modern industries and international companies, including pharmaceutical research, computer technology, defence systems, food retailing and film and television studios. A county where they are very welcome and where we all look forward to them being part of our community.
It was fascinating to talk to the new citizens and hear their respective stories after presenting each one with their certificate of citizenship.
It was a very proud day for all concerned and I was thrilled to be a part of it.