New Canadians among first to swear oath to King Charles following death of Queen Elizabeth

Jeffrey Sachs has been preparing for more than a year to take the naturalization oath. He only learned of Queen Elizabeth’s death while waiting for the ceremony to begin on Thursday.

Sachs said he “immediately began to wonder if they were scrambling to change their vows.”

Since 1947, the law requires new citizens to take an oath before the king and their successors. While the wording has been changed a few times since Queen Elizabeth’s reign began, new Canadians have sworn to her for 70 years now.

That changed on Thursday afternoon after her death. Sachs and dozens of others who attended the virtual naturalization ceremony were among the first to swear allegiance to the new monarch, King Charles III.

“Being part of such a sudden change, it was truly a remarkable experience,” Sachs said.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says that when a monarch dies, the oath is changed to reflect the fact that Canada has a new sovereignty.

“The reference to the Queen in the Naturalization Oath has been amended to refer to King Charles III. This change was made in accordance with the Act of Interpretation and applies to all naturalization ceremonies to date. “, a department spokesman told CBC News.

A photograph of the late Queen Elizabeth II and now King Charles III standing on a balcony in London on June 5, the last of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. (Photo by Hannah McKay / AP)

The announcement of the Queen’s death was made about an hour before Sachs and the others were sworn in. Despite the short notice, Sachs said the ceremony was “seamless.”

Roberto Rocha, a reporter for the Foundation for Investigative Journalism and a former CBC journalist, reported witnessing his friend take the oath in a series of tweets Thursday.

Rocha said in a tweet: “The presiding judge is referring to the Queen. Said the Monarch is now King Charles III, King of Canada.”

Sachs said that, as an American with Canadian citizenship, taking the oath in front of a monarch feels “special”. But he added that he “always had a lot of admiration and affection for the Queen.”

His ceremony opened with a moving tribute to Canada’s longest-reigning monarch as the celebrant added, “The queen is dead. God save the king” – to which Sachs and the others repeated in unison.

“It’s a little fun to the oath,” he said.

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