The British are not particularly patriotic but do take pride in their country, a think-tank poll recently revealed.
According to the results of the poll, conducted by Demos, William Shakespeare tops the list of 10 symbols that Britons are most proud of. The Bard beat out even the royal family, including Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Apparently, some 75 percent of all respondents agreed with the sentence: I am proud of William Shakespeare as a symbol of Britain.
Rock music icons The Beatles and the British Parliament had to be content with relatively low positions on the list; the system of monarchy came in sixth, with 68 percent of the votes. However, the royal family itself dropped off the final list.
The sentiments expressed towards the royal family were overwhelmingly positive but they were not, on the whole, feelings of 'pride'. This is borne out by our polling: while the royal family scored positively, only 33 per cent of people felt strongly that they were proud of the royal family, the think-tank added.
The top 10 symbols, which the respondents said they were proud of, are:
1. Shakespeare (75%)
A 300 year-old portrait of William Shakespeare, believed to be the only authentic image of him painted while he was alive is pictured at Dartmouth house in London March 9, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
2. National Trust and armed forces (Tie at 72%)
Britian's Queen Elizabeth poses for a regimental photograph with members of the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry following a homecoming service at Lichfield Cathedral, following their return from operations in Afghanistan in Lichfield, central England, July 20 2011. REUTERS/Phil Noble
3. Union Jack, flag of the United Kingdom (71%)
A Union flag flies near Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London October 24, 2011. 71 per cent of Britons feel proud of Union Jack as a symbol of Britain. REUTERS/Toby Melville
4. The Great Britain Pound (70%)
some 70 per cent of Britons say they are proud of the pound as a symbol of Britain. PHOTO: stock.xchng
5. National Health Service (69%)
A National Health Service (NHS) sign is seen in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital, in front of the Houses of Parliament in London June 7, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville
6. The British monarchy (68%)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth, the constitutional monarch, leaves a service to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible at Westminster Abbey in central London November 16, 2011. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
7. BBC (63%)
Buildings are reflected in a sign at British Broadcasting Corporation offices in central London October 6, 2011. Some 63 per cent of Britons said they were proud of BBC as a symbol of Britain. REUTERS/Toby Melville
8. Sporting achievements (58%)
Jessica Ennis of Britain celebrates after winning the the women's heptathlon during the world athletics championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin August 16, 2009. According to the recent poll by British think-tank Demos, about 58 per cent of Britons said they were proud of sporting achievements as a symbol of Britain. REUTERS/Phil Noble
9. The Beatles and the legal system (Tie at 51%)
An autographed photo of The Beatles is displayed at an exhibition in Buenos Aires October 4, 2010. 51 per cent of Britons take pride in The Beatles. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
10. Parliament (47%)
Light trails made by a passing bus illuminate the night sky in front of Britain's Houses of Parliament in London January 18, 2011. Some 47 per cent of Britons said they were proud of parliament as a symbol of Britain. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth