10 Top Reasons Why We Are Proud To Be British
Britain is by no means the only country in the world with a monarchy but it is the only one where the monarch is known simply by her title.
No need to add her name or that of the country of which she is sovereign - everyone knows the Queen is OUR Queen.
Some may carp about the cost or the relevance of the monarchy but the Royal Family remains without question Britain's unique selling point.
OK, it's called English but the language we speak in Great Britain is arguably our most successful export ever.
More people speak English (though not necessarily as a first language) than any other tongue.
It is the international language of business, of diplomacy and now technology.
If a Japanese and a German businessman meet they more than likely converse in English.
The language has evolved in its travels and British English has several distinct "daughters" - American English, Australian English, Indian English or "Hinglish", Caribbean English - which have all enriched the original.
There is a reason why people suffering from shock are given hot, sweet tea.
The restorative powers of a cuppa simply cannot be overestimated.
Tea is comforting and reviving.
It is classless and can be enjoyed by all ages and it gave birth to another great British institution, afternoon tea, for which luxury hotels charge a fortune.
SENSE OF HUMOUR
To foreigners, the British sense of humour often seems incomprehensible or even cruel.
They can't understand how an insult can be used as a term of endearment.
But that doesn't mean our comedy hasn't travelled to some surprising places.
Sitcom 'Allo 'Allo set in Nazi occupied France was popular in more than 50 countries, including Germany, while Fawlty Towers, broadcast in 60 countries and voted Britain's best sitcom, flopped in Spain when it was first shown because of its portrayal of the slow-witted Spanish waiter.
No fewer than 245 countries bought the Mr Bean series, proving that sometimes British humour needs no words at all.
The great British boozer has taken a pummelling in recent years.
A combination of the smoking ban, cheap supermarket beer and tough demands on landlords from the big brewers means the pubs that were once on every corner are shutting at a rate of 100 a month.
The survivors are having to work harder in terms of the beer they offer, food menus, friendly service and community spirit but the upshot is that customers have never had it so good in terms of quality.
FISH AND CHIPS
They don't wrap it up in newspaper any more but the fish supper is the great British institution that has held its own in the face of foreign invasions from pizzas, burgers and curry.
We complain that there’s nothing on the TV but you should see what they have to suffer in other countries.
Compared to almost every other broadcasting organisation the Beeb stands for quality and trustworthiness.
Every country has a national literary figure but few have the global recognition of William Shakespeare.
His plays still make us laugh and cry nearly four centuries after his death.
Every day, whether we know it or not, we fill our conversation with metaphors coined by the Bard, from killing with kindness to laying it on with a trowel.