You might discover the answer if you ever have to appear
before a crown prosecutor.
I suspect further investigation might reveal a distinction
between allegiance and subjection (or subjecthood). And I
suppose further, that owing allegiance to a person as opposed
to a thing might spark a debate.
One handy thing is having an arbiter over the Queen's English.
Her Majesty in right of Canada, distinctly frowns
on the use of third person plural as an indefinite form of
third person singular.
From: Rickard A. Parker
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 2/4/04 5:40 PM
Subject: Re: Covers and Quiz (was: Discussion)
Peter Montgomery wrote:
> I am under the vague imprssion that as of the
> Council of Westminster of 1949, which more or less established
> the Commonwealh, that subject status ceased, and everyone
> became citizens. Not sure, but I think subject status has gone.
I did some quick searching. With what I found it appears that after WWII
and the independence of colonies it was deemed best to get rid the term
"subject" to handle new nationalities. Each country set up its own
citizenship rules and the U.K. passed the British Nationality Act 1948
(later to be replaced by the act of 1981.) Checking in at the Home
Office website it seems that "citizen" is the main term in use there
(although "British subject" is seen too and appears to mean something
According to the Saskatchewan government's website, Canadians are
"citizens" too although, to this Yank, the oath of new Canadian citizens
"swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors.
is pretty much the same as their claiming to be "subjects of the Queen."