Who and what represents Britain today? Our country has changed significantly in the last few decades; but, a batch of YouGov polls published this weekend suggest that traditional notions of what is British remain remarkably unchanged. The public was asked to choose which prominent people they think reflect Britain today. Members of the Royal Family occupy four of the top five positions — the Queen, Prince William, Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge — while fifth spot is represented by the nouveau riche Richard Branson:

What about our individual characteristics? In a separate YouGov poll, English people still appear to be suspicious of foreigners. But they also keep a stiff upper lip between bouts of patriotism and drunken hooliganism:

On this evidence, it would be hard to differentiate the Englishman of 2014 from Basil Fawlty of forty years ago. Both have a great respect for institutions and establishment figures, yet apparently dislike foreigners. Perhaps these attitudes explain the rapid rise of Ukip, the only party who dream of a Britain long ago. But I’m sure that Farage and co will be surprised to see how people feel about our green and pleasant land.

Tags: Boris Johnson, Britain, Britishness, Polling, UK politics, UKIP, YouGov