December 2014

The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich played host to its first Citizenship Ceremony on Tuesday 16 December. The ceremony took place in front of the west wall of the magnificent Painted Hall. The ceremony was organised by the ORNC in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and saw twenty people officially welcomed as British citizens. 

Citizenship ceremonies, which are held by local authorities across the UK, see new citizens swear an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the British crown and receive their official certificate of citizenship. It is a landmark occasion for the new citizens and their families, and ceremonies are increasingly being held in venues that reflect the importance of the event. The history of the Old Royal Naval College, which was founded for public not private purposes and with its many global connections makes it an ideal place for a citizenship ceremony, and there can be few more spectacular settings for a red-letter day than the Painted Hall. 

Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Councillor Mick Hayes said “It is an honour to be able to hold our citizenship ceremonies in the prestigious Painted Hall. Our famous landmarks including Sir Christopher Wren’s Old Royal Naval College help bring 18 million visitors to Greenwich each year. I look forward to welcoming residents and encouraging them to experience the splendour of Maritime Greenwich.”

Sarah Duthie, Public Engagement Director at the ORNC adds “the Old Royal Naval College sits at the very heart of the Greenwich community and we continue to work closely with local people and partners to seek ways in which we can create new opportunities for them to use and learn more about the site.”

“The staff and volunteers are thrilled to be holding this ceremony in the historic Painted Hall which will welcome twenty new citizens into our community, and we look forward to developing a strong relationship with them in the months and years to come.”

The new citizens were officially welcomed into the Painted Hall on Tuesday 16 December by Brendan McCarthy, CEO of the Greenwich Foundation, the charity which manages the Old Royal Naval College.  The ceremony was presided over by the Lord Mayor of Greenwich and accompaniment provided by students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. After the ceremony each new Citizen also received a gift from the ORNC in the form of a guidebook and were offered a free tour of the world famous heritage site, Michael Kemp originally from New Zealand said “As soon as I heard the ceremony was being held in the Painted Hall I snapped up the chance quickly, it’s such a magnificent place and I’ve been here many times”. 

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