Look away with a yawn if you've already got one of these. Otherwise, you may be interested to see what a 2012 Gender Recognition Certificate looks like.
It's on a very pale blue-green piece of paper, with a swirly printed background pattern and an 'ER' ('Elizabeth Regina') watermark. As you can see, it's a rather plain and austere document, and it reminds me of a GCE examination pass certificate, such as the one I got for my three A levels in 1970. It's similar also in that no marks are mentioned. You don't get 'Lucy Melford attained a pass mark of 89%, and has therefore achieved a grade B as a real woman'. I've simply satisfied the GRC Panel, and so get this document which resembles, let's face it, something you might receive if you've swum 100 lengths and can save and resuscitate a plastic dummy.
Much more impressive, and hanging in my hall, is the framed Jubilee Medal and Certificate that Dad received from the Queen in 1977. Now that says:
Buckingham Palace, 7th June 1977. By Command of HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN the accompanying medal is forwarded to William Rodney D--- to be worn in commemoration of Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee. 6th February 1952: 6th February 1977.
The medal is silver, attached to a white ribbon with blue and red stripes. Rather attractive. Although it says 'forwarded', Dad had to attend a function at the Palace at which the Queen presided. Doubtless he had a brief conversation with her - perhaps (in my dreams) on these lines:
The Queen: 'Arise, Sir Rodney. Accept this honour in commemoration of my Silver Jubliee.'
Dad: 'Thank you, Ma'am.'
The Queen: 'Your family will be very proud of you. I understand you have a lovely daughter named Lucy.'
Dad: 'Indeed I do, Ma'am. She is a fine young lady, already making her mark.'
The Queen: 'I hope then that one day I may meet her. Perhaps by the time of my Diamond Jubilee she will have achieved something worthy of a medal in her own right.'
Dad: 'Thank you Ma'am. No doubt she will.'
The above is invented, you understand, because Dad wouldn't say what actually happened. So I've simply supplied the most likely words, subject to what the Queen herself might disclose if I ever meet her!
Dad did say that he was never quite sure why he was awarded this medal. I knew that he had regularly introduced innovations at work of his own invention - he was a great 'ideas man' - and possibly it was felt that he deserved some recognition. On the other hand, pretty much every Civil Servant of some seniority must have got one of these medals. So maybe it was simply for long and loyal service. Dad was proud of it nevertheless. Mum was too, fit to burst, and so am I.
Well, I wish my GRC had 'By Command of Her Majesty The Queen...' on it, just to sex it up a little! Never mind, even if unassuming in appearance, it's a very important document that will affect the rest of my life in ways that Dad's Jubilee Medal couldn't.