Britons are more proud of their history, NHS and army than the Royal Family

An Ipsos poll for Channel 4 looks at what makes people proud to be British and what our favourite food and drink is.

Britons are more proud of their history, NHS and army than the Royal Family 

A new Channel 4 poll into Britishness reveals a nation of tea lovers, who think they are funny (but drink too much) and find that history makes them more proud to be British than the Royal Family does.

While 2012 celebrates the Diamond Jubilee and London hosting the Olympics, it is HISTORY that makes people most proud to be British.

A survey commissioned by Channel 4 from Ipsos found that more people (45%) are proud to be British due to the country’s history than they are because of the Royal Family (28%). And more people cite the NHS (37%) and the armed forces (36%) as a source of pride than they do the Royals. British sports teams come in at a lowly 10%. Bringing up the bottom of the table is British business, with only 4%.

Overall, which two or three of the following, would you say makes you most proud to be British?

  • Our history (45%)
  • The NHS (37%)
  • British Army / armed forces (36%)
  • The Royal Family (28%)
  • Our culture and arts (24%)
  • Our system of democracy (22%)
  • Having a free press / media (15%)
  • British sports teams (10%)
  • Our position in the world (5%)
  • British business (4%)

Timed to coincide with Make Bradford British, a documentary series exploring what it means to be British, the survey also found that a ‘good sense of humour’ (45%) topped the poll when people were asked what are the best characteristics of British people, followed by friendly (34%) and tolerant to all sections of society (30%).

But while being funny may be the best British characteristic, of those surveyed, half (50%) said the worst was drinking too much. Ignorance of other cultures (33%) and complaining too much (23%) were also cited. And a fifth of respondents thought the worst characteristic was being lazy (20%).

Tea topped the poll not only as people’s favourite drink (38%) but also what they thought was the country’s national drink (65%) proving that we are a nation of tea lovers.

While fish and chips is seen as the national dish by four in ten Britons (41%) just one in ten (9%) say it is their favourite food. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding tops the poll as the nation’s favourite dish (33%).

And while 15% enjoy a curry as their meal of choice, only 8% think it’s the national dish.

For details of the findings around immigration, integration and being British please see the first release here

Technical Details

Ipsos interviewed a nationally representative quota sample of 998 adults aged 15 and over across the Great Britain, interviews were conducted face-to-face between 27 January – 5 February 2012. Results have been weighted to the known GB adult population profile. An asterisk (*) indicates a finding of less than 0.5% but greater than zero. Where percentages do not add up to exactly 100% this is due to computer rounding, the exclusion of “don’t knows” or to multiple answers. Results are based on all respondents unless otherwise stated

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