Brits celebrate the Queen, but not the monarchy

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Written by Lucy Marks and Natalie Thomas

LONDON (Reuters) – Moamen Rashid, a 12-year-old practicing Bollywood dance moves in his school gym in central England, is excited to be one of 10,000 artists taking part in an event honoring the 70th British throne of Queen Elizabeth.

The event will conclude next month’s four days of national celebrations marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, bringing together military troupes, dancers and well-known figures in sports and entertainment.

“I’m a little nervous because 10,000 is a lot and I can make mistakes with my dance moves,” Rashid said.

But while Rashid, who is of Pakistani origin and born in Birmingham, is eager to dance in front of Buckingham Palace and says the Queen loves her people, the monarchy itself is a somewhat elusive concept.

And when asked if he feels close to the royal family, he immediately answered: “No.”

Research suggests that this situation is no surprise. The 96-year-old Elizabeth, the longest-reigning in Britain’s history, is so popular according to opinion polls that many of her subjects, especially the older ones, have a deep interest in her.

But the picture of the monarchy as a whole is less clear. A poll by the British Institute for the Future showed that 58% of people believe the country should preserve the institution in the near future, but 25% believe that with the end of the Queen’s reign, it is time for the United Kingdom to become a republic.

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