Queen 'ultimate middle-class hero'
Published 25/10/2010 | 00:19
The Queen is the ultimate middle-class hero, according to the authors of a new guide to Britain's often misunderstood majority.
Richard Benson, who co-edited The Middle Class Handbook, said she embodied the much-admired middle-class trait of "just getting on with it".
He said: "The admiration is very much for her as a person rather than the royal family; people respect her for dealing with a very difficult family, and for doing her duty without complaint. Interestingly, a significant number of people who admire her say they do so despite republican sympathies."
Other heroes include Joanna Lumley, Jamie Oliver and Jeremy Clarkson. Also in the list is Helen Mirren, who played the Queen in the film of the same name.
Other less likely entrants on the heroes list include the "optimistic" rapper Dizzee Rascal and "underdog" Dannii Minogue, who Benson said had played "second fiddle" to her sister and fellow X Factor judge Cheryl Cole.
But there was bad news for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who topped a list of middle-class villains which included U2 frontman Bono and Heather Mills.
Mr Benson said: "There is a clear drift away from admiring glamour and wealth for its own sake, towards public figures who seem to have weathered adversity and come through.
"There is also huge respect for those people who have helped others in a personal way - rather than telling other people to help, as it were. I think the older women who are mentioned are also respected because they had grown old gracefully - still living a youthful lifestyle, but with wisdom and good taste."