Iceland Refuses to Renew Passport of 'Girl' Family Calls 'Harriet'

Image: Daily Life In Reykjavik
Traffic moves around the buildings in the Icelandic capital is seen from the top of the Hallgrimskirkja tower on April 7, 2014 in Reykjavik, Iceland.Matt Cardy / Getty Images file

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A 10-year-old Icelandic girl has been denied a passport renewal because her name was not approved by authorities, according to media reports. British-born Tristan Cardew and his Icelandic wife are appealing against the decision that nearly stranded their daughter Harriet ahead of a family vacation, according to The Guardian newspaper. Icelandic law requires that children’s names be approved by the National Registry or cleared by authorities.

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The newspaper said Harriet previously traveled on a passport under the name “Girl” because her name was not approved. When her passport renewal was refused, Harriet was granted an emergency British passport to travel, according to local news site Visir. The British Embassy in Reykjavík said it was providing consular support to the Cardew family. It's not the first time the naming policy has been challenged: Last year, Bjarkardóttir Rúnarsdottir won legal action to shed the moniker “Girl” and go by her real name, which means “Light Breeze.”


- Cassandra Vinograd