Brent celebrates the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta

A special citizenship ceremony took place at Brent Civic Centre

A special citizenship ceremony took place at Brent Civic Centre - Credit: Archant

People from all over the world became British citizens at a special citizenship ceremony held in Brent yesterday to launch the 2015 celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta.

Around 30 people, from countries including Lebanon, Mongolia, India, China and Bulgaria, took the oath of allegiance to the crown and sang the national anthem at the event held at Brent Civic Centre.

They were then presented with their naturalisation certificates by Cllr Aslam Choudry, former Mayor of Brent, and current chair of scrutiny committee.

The Magna Carta, which is Latin for “Great Charter”, was first agreed in June 1215 by King John of England and his Barons and is arguably one of the most important moments of history that has enshrined the Rule of Law in English society.

Mark Rimmer OBE, head of registration and nationality at Brent Council, said: “It’s an honour for Brent Council to be able to kick off a year of celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

“British citizens have enjoyed many rights that can trace their origin to the Magna Carta so it’s important to remember this foundation stone of our freedom and democracy

“We welcome all the new citizens today to the British family and to the local community in Brent”.

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Each person was presented with a facsimile copy of the Magna Carta scroll and there was speech by Patrick Wintour OBE, a supporter of the Magna Carta society, who explained what it is and what relevance it has to the new citizens.

Mr Wintour said: “it’s wonderful to be in Brent today for the first of the special Magna Carta citizenship ceremonies. We hope that all local authorities that are able to, can have at least one of these special ceremonies this year.”