- Friday, 10 February 2012
They may have once claimed to be more popular than Jesus, but The Beatles have lost out on the accolade of ‘Britain’s greatest legacy’ to the Royal Family which took the title in a new poll commissioned by Cancer Research UK.
The Royal Family, which has enjoyed renewed popularity following the Royal Wedding last year, was considered to be the nation’s greatest legacy by 27 per cent of those polled. The ‘Fab Four’ managed only fifth place with eight per cent naming The Beatles as Britain’s greatest legacy.
The NHS, founded in 1948 to ensure free health care for all, was ranked second in the poll with 18 per cent of the vote, while William Shakespeare was the third most popular choice with 12 per cent of those surveyed selecting The Bard. The age old tradition of afternoon tea placed fourth (nine per cent).
The survey of 2000 people in the UK was commissioned by Cancer Research UK, which relies on gifts in Wills to continue its lifesaving work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The charity is keen to raise awareness about the importance of legacies as so many people are alive today thanks to the donations that have been given to Cancer Research UK in the past.
Russel Caulfield, senior legacy marketing manager at Cancer Research UK said: “It’s interesting to discover that so many people selected the Royal Family when asked to choose just one British phenomenon to describe the nation’s greatest legacy.
“A legacy can mean a great many things to different people. Over a third of Cancer Research UK’s work is funded through legacies. So to us, a legacy is a valuable gift from a supporter which enables us to continue our vital research to beat cancer.”
The Top Ten Greatest British Legacies
The Royal Family 27%
William Shakespeare 12%
Afternoon tea 9%
The Beatles 8%
Sunday Roast 6%
Dry wit 4%
Charles Dickens 3.5%
James Bond just missed out on a top ten ranking with one per cent of respondents choosing secret agent 007 as Britain’s greatest legacy. Others that failed to make the top ten include; fish & chips, Wayne Rooney, the English language, Monty Python, the industrial revolution and Dr Who.
Russel added: “We wanted people to consider what legacy means to them so, as well as asking respondents what they thought was Britain’s greatest legacy, we also asked how they would like to be remembered. Being a good and kind person was a popular choice, as was being a good or loving friend or family member. Making a difference was also cited by some people as how they’d like to be remembered.
“Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer and it’s difficult to find anyone who hasn’t been affected either personally or through family and friends. One way that people can be sure they’ll make a difference in their lifetime and beyond is to support our work to beat cancer. Legacies bequeathed to us today will help ensure that in future millions more people will live longer, happier and healthier lives with their families and loved ones.”
The poll also asked respondents about their Wills and found that only 35 per cent of people had written one. Of these, 30 per cent said they had left a legacy to charity in their Will. Additionally, 41% of respondents were not aware that as well as monetary gifts, they could leave objects, property or a percentage of their estate or specific items to charity.
For further information on leaving a legacy to Cancer Research UK, log on to www.cancerresearchuk.org/legacies
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