Harriet Has Every Right to Be Harriet Skip to content

Harriet Has Every Right to Be Harriet

The Icelandic National Registry had no right to deny the eleven-year-old Harriet Cardew a passport in June, 2014, on grounds that her name had not been accepted by the Icelandic Naming Committee, Vísir reports.

The Icelandic Ministry of the Interior ruled in the case on August 12, more than a year after Harriet’s parents appealed the National Registry’s decision. The Registry has been instructed to register Harriet’s name and issue a passport in the name of Harriet Cardew.

Since her birth, Harriet had been registered as “Stúlka,” or “Girl,” because her name was not considered to be in accordance with Icelandic naming laws. The same is true for her brother, Duncan, who is registered as “Drengur [Boy] Duncan.”

Harriet’s father is a British citizen, while her mother has dual citizenship—Icelandic and U.S. The ruling contends that since both parents hold foreign citizenships, they had the right to give the girl a foreign name.

Kristín Cardew, Harriet’s mother, is relieved. “We hope this will have an impact and get a certain reevaluation going,” she says. The Ministry for the Interior is currently working to reexamine the naming laws. Ólöf Nordal, minister of the interior, has indicated her willingness to make them more lenient.

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