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Swearing allegiance to the Queen

(26 Posts)
thatbags Thu 17-Nov-16 07:32:22

I've just read a report about John McDonnell, who apparently is a "life-long republican", swearing allegiance to the Queen so that he can be a member of the Privy Council.

All fine so far (I mean, no objections from me so far).

What I'm wondering is, what do people say who don't want to swear "by Almighty God..."?

Anniebach Thu 17-Nov-16 08:45:00

Perhaps the same as when they swear in in the house thatbags , they can choose not to , same as in courts too

tanith Thu 17-Nov-16 09:31:28

I affirmed when I did jury service I assume you can do this instead of by almighty God for most other things.

Anniebach Thu 17-Nov-16 09:38:56

I just don't understand how republicans can swear allegiance

gillybob Thu 17-Nov-16 09:40:14

The Brownies, Guides etc. no longer swear "to god" but they do still pledge their allegiance to the Queen. Which makes me think about a comment my DGD made when she was learning her Brownie promise.

Having been a Brownie and a Guide myself I remembered (and taught her) the old promise only to be corrected by the lovely Brown Owl. My DGD pointed out the differences and then said "why do I promise to the queen when I will never meet her and not promise to god when I will definitely meet him?" shock

I was stuck for an answer.

Anniebach Thu 17-Nov-16 09:42:14

Wise child

thatbags Thu 17-Nov-16 09:43:08

I guess they can put aside their anti-monarchy beliefs in order to do good or their duty, as they see it, within the constitution of the state as it is at the present moment. No point barring yourself from public office because the current law is pro-monarchy.

Thanks, tanith. That would make sense.

thatbags Thu 17-Nov-16 09:44:41

The allegiance to the queen thing in the scout and guide movements is more about honouring your country and doing your duty as a citizen than about personal allegiance to the monarchy—a kind of pledge to obey the law, I suppose. One can't ask more of kids.

MaizieD Thu 17-Nov-16 10:21:45

I suppose you could view it as the Queen being the embodiment of the country and that by swearing allegiance you are promising not to do anything to harm the country.

Jalima Thu 17-Nov-16 10:30:45

What MaizieD says - and the Queen being Head of State is not the person Elizabeth R but the position as symbolic head of the country.

Jalima Thu 17-Nov-16 10:33:09

Interestingly the Australian oath of citizenship has no mention of the Queen and God is optional.

vampirequeen Thu 17-Nov-16 10:58:10

I'd rather make the Australian version.

Jalima Thu 17-Nov-16 11:07:58

hmm but at one time you had to promise to 'defend Australia in times of war' which could mean that only new Australians are the ones to have made that promise.
I'm not sure if that is still the case.

gillybob Thu 17-Nov-16 11:09:34

I like the sound of the Australian version too. I wouldn't want to pledge anything to the queen although I would be more than happy to promise to honour my country.

paddyann Thu 17-Nov-16 11:13:54

our 56 SNP MP' all made that pledge ,many are republicans but its important we get people in parliament who are on our side ,so their own preference was put asiide.There are different rules in Holyrood and some pledge allegiance to Scotland

Anniebach Thu 17-Nov-16 11:44:02

If the queen means the country why do soldiers die for queen and country

thatbags Thu 17-Nov-16 15:22:14

I think people can interpret it as they like. For kids it's enough that they understand they are making a commitment to be good citizens. The meaning of "good citizen" is open to interpretation but certain things, such as honesty and helpfulness towards others will always be included.

I think for armed forces it's more about not commiting treason. No idea how that's defined but no doubt some lawyers do and will apply the law where appropriate.

Jalima Thu 17-Nov-16 15:33:34

Because they take The Queen's shilling

And the Navy is 'The Royal Navy' the Senior Service
The Air Force is 'The Royal Air Force
The Marines are 'The Royal Marines'
and only some of the Army are 'Royal'

Anniebach Thu 17-Nov-16 15:49:41

But she doesn't give the shilling grin

Elegran Thu 17-Nov-16 15:56:11

A few centuries ago she would have done - the army was raised by the king or queen and paid by them, out of their own money, as were the rest of the country's administrators, judges, and so on. It is a hangover from those days.

Jalima Thu 17-Nov-16 15:58:46


Greyduster Thu 17-Nov-16 16:05:29

The Queen is the Commander in Chief - and therefore the head -of the armed forces, which is why they swear allegiance to the Queen. Taking the Queens shilling dates back, I think, to when men were "pressed"; if they drank a tankard of ale with a shilling in the bottom they were deemed to have accepted the Queen's shilling. I can only assume the ale was so cloudy they didn't see it till they got to the bottom!! I stand to be corrected if anyone knows differently!

Elegran Thu 17-Nov-16 16:15:44

I think the theory was to hand over the shilling as soon as possible to anyone who was willing to take it, so as to have them signed up - if someone was really skint the prospect of a shilling right now for soldiering later was probably very tempting. Doing it sneakily might be resorted to if recruitment was getting urgent and difficult. Another ploy was to get a titled lady or other classy dame to stand beside the recruiting sergeant and give a kiss to all new recruits.

The pressgang were employed by the navy in ports. They were empowered to "impress" fit men into the service when there was a shortage of crewmen.

janeainsworth Thu 17-Nov-16 16:40:38

greyduster we have been to a pub in St Petersburg, Florida, called The Moon under Water.
The moon being the shilling that was placed in the bottom of the tankard to fool the recruits.
There are pubs if the same name in London.

Greyduster Thu 17-Nov-16 16:46:03

I believe the practice led to the manufacture of glass bottomed pewter tankards - you could see the shilling then!