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Her Britannic Majesty

The healing angel, who longtime readers of this blog will remember as a child of 9,10, 11... is soon to embark upon new adventures. Rather than going straight to college, he's going to try to work for a bit in the land of his birth--England. To that end, he had to renew his British passport, not used since he was a baby. (He's used his American one several times since then.)

Today it arrived, and wow, the words at the front are redolent with the fragrance of Empire:

Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.

Requests and requires. Without let or hindrance! It's the ontological opposite of Movie!Gandalf's "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

ETA: The American equivalent:

The Secretary of State of the United States of America hereby requests all whom it may concern to permit the citizen/national of the United States named herein to pass without delay or hindrance and in case of need to give all lawful aid and protection.

America, up your game! Where is your require??


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:45 pm (UTC)

That is so cool! Requests and requires, indeed. I almost, maybe, had the chance to have my first child in England  (would I have been allowed to fly six weeks before the due date?), but opted instead for delaying our travel. So, he got a five month tour as an infant, instead.

I think it's wonderful that Healing Angel is getting this year to travel and work before heading off to college. There's just so much value to taking that extra time.

Sep. 12th, 2016 07:47 pm (UTC)
If he goes at all! We'll see what the future holds for him.

Meanwhile, I also notice that the US passport limits the aid folks are requested to give to what's lawful. No such limitation in the UK passport. GIVE THE BEARER ALL THE AID. ALL OF IT.
(no subject) - pdlloyd - Sep. 13th, 2016 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:51 pm (UTC)
We don't have a monarchy, heh. That's royal diplomat-speak.
Sep. 12th, 2016 07:54 pm (UTC)
It's also really old-school in its wording--like the King James Bible as opposed to, say, the New International translation--which is probably because it was created two centuries ago, and why update something with as much prestige and majesty as that? Whereas I can imagine people tinkering with the US text in each new administration (maybe not that frequently--but frequently).
(no subject) - sartorias - Sep. 12th, 2016 08:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 12th, 2016 10:01 pm (UTC)
Queen Elizabeth II does not have a passport. "As a British passport is issued in the name of Her Majesty, it is unnecessary for The Queen to possess one."

However, the British Secretary of State and the American Secretary of State require passports even though in both cases the request page invokes them.

According to Wikipedia the Irish passport's request page is in both Gaeilge and English (and, on mine, probably also French since it's from 2008; I'll check when I get home).
Sep. 13th, 2016 02:58 am (UTC)
I like the idea of the secretary of state requesting safe passage for himself, in the third person.
(no subject) - ckd - Sep. 13th, 2016 06:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 13th, 2016 12:44 am (UTC)
So that's where Barrayar got it from.

I think everyone, or nearly everyone, should take a year working after high school.
Sep. 13th, 2016 02:56 am (UTC)
Do they have passports and such in that series?

(It's among the many things I haven't read--I think I read one short story in the world (it was good))
(no subject) - amaebi - Sep. 13th, 2016 11:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 13th, 2016 05:02 am (UTC)
That made me look up what my passport says. In English the message is same as for the American passport, but the word used in Estonian is more of a plea (or - the polite way to ask, that SHOULD be a plea and not demand) ... yet, it might be my own poor English skills that read "request" more as demand than as a plea.
Sep. 13th, 2016 11:43 am (UTC)
My sense of English "request" is that the degree to which it slides into a demand depends on the power of the asker. When the asker is more powerful than the person being asked, it is a demand (in the sense that it is not acceptable for the person being asked to decline: it is a polite way of issuing an order). When the parties are of equal power or the person asking is less powerful, then it is a very formal way of asking, and shows that the person asking has the expectation of an affirmative answer--but the [equal or more powerful] person being asked can still refuse.
Sep. 13th, 2016 10:09 am (UTC)
Mine is in between: "The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, being the representative in Australia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, requests all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer, an Australian Citizen, to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford him or her every assistance and protection of which he or she may stand in need."

So, the G-G is requesting I get all the assistance (that I need), but not actually requiring it.
Sep. 13th, 2016 11:36 am (UTC)
I like that neither the Australian nor the British passport let minor details like legality stand in the way of the aid giving, or rather, I guess I think it's a curious nicety that the US one takes pains to tell people that they aren't being asked to break the law.

And wow, Commonwealth countries get to reference the queen--of course they do, but it's cool to see. Empire! It hangs on.
Sep. 13th, 2016 11:06 am (UTC)
Ooh, he's got one of the new, lavishly illustrated, 'Creative Britain' ones - first one I've seen!
Sep. 13th, 2016 11:09 am (UTC)
And on the inside back cover, a tiny ornate cake you can actually lick.
(no subject) - asakiyume - Sep. 13th, 2016 11:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amaebi - Sep. 13th, 2016 11:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Sep. 13th, 2016 11:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 13th, 2016 04:48 pm (UTC)
Haha. My brother has a UN password which, on the cover, simply states Let Pass, in French.
Sep. 13th, 2016 05:29 pm (UTC)
That's an even more direct opposite for Gandalf's "You shall not pass!"

What standing does a UN passport have?
(no subject) - lifeinroseland - Sep. 13th, 2016 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 13th, 2016 08:52 pm (UTC)
A flip book! That is awesome! I want a flip book! US passport, you are letting me down in MORE WAYS THAN ONE
Sep. 14th, 2016 03:17 pm (UTC)
America's could include, "Violation of these terms and conditions may result in a good, solid carpet bombing."
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - wendigomountain - Sep. 16th, 2016 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Sep. 17th, 2016 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 15th, 2016 12:06 am (UTC)
The Elk! What a winner! We get different scenes on every page, with heavy emphasis on wildlife and wide-open spaces.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - heliopausa - Sep. 18th, 2016 12:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Sep. 17th, 2016 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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