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Monarchy and Constructing Identity in 'British' Gibraltar, c.1800 to the Present.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date03/2006
JournalJournal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Journal number1
Volume34
Number of pages22
Pages23-44
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

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.