British Gibraltar began as a fortress, and royal coronations, jubilees and visits were initially celebrated in Gibraltar primarily by the British military and the colonial government. However, a substantial civilian population developed, to service the garrison and engage in trade. Sections of this civil community, not British-by-birth, increasingly demonstrated their loyalty to the crown on such royal occasions, in order to raise their status internally, protect their interests and increase their political influence inside Gibraltar. Spanish participation in royal events in Gibraltar, especially by members of the military and political elites from across the frontier, were also once commonplace and in Gibraltar uncontested. However, the relationship with Spain deteriorated, especially from the 1950s. Gibraltar's civil community then used expressions of loyalty to the British crown on royal occasions to assert its Britishness and to emphasise the duty of the British government to resist Spanish claims.