Take a walk around Liverpool Riverside ahead of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend and you will find plenty of houses decked out in flags and bunting – they just won’t have the Union flag or the Queen on them.
In these parts, the Liver bird is the symbol of pride and the ruling German monarch is Jurgen ‘King’ Klopp.
In fact, some fans of Liverpool Football Club booed the British national anthem and heir to the throne Prince William ahead of their FA Cup victory at Wembley earlier this month.
So it should perhaps come as no surprise that the Liverpool Riverside constituency has the lowest support for the monarchy of anywhere in the country, according to research carried out in 2019.
While 53 per cent of the nation agreed with the statement ‘I am a strong supporter of the continued reign of the Royal Family’ on average, in this corner of Merseyside it was only 32 per cent.
More than a third of residents said that they disagreed, compared with 20 per cent nationally.
The area covers a clutch of urban neighbourhoods along the River Mersey which reflect Liverpool’s wider demographic mix – so what makes it a hotbed of anti-monarchy sentiment? i went to find out.
On Lark Lane – a high street in Sefton Park known for its bohemian feel – locals weren’t in any mood to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
“There’s not a lot of time for them [the Royal Family],” said Peter Kinley, a former actor aged 70.
“I think Liverpool in general is anti-monarchy because of the way it’s been treated, because of Thatcher.”
Friend Jack Walker added: “I think conversations about class might have slowed in other parts of the country, but here it’s much more active.”
Jessica Green put it simply: “Too much money is going to them [the Royal Family] and Liverpool’s getting nothing, I couldn’t give a s***.
“There’s much bigger things that need money to go on than partying.”
In nearby Toxteth, a community centre was handing out free food parcels to those in need.
Figures from 2019 showed 69 per cent of children in this suburb were living in poverty – and that was before the pandemic and cost of living crisis hit.
A firefighter who was helping at the centre told i that he thinks support for the monarchy was high among the Windrush generation of immigrants, some of whom settled in Liverpool, but that has waned among younger people.
“The older generation that came over from places like British Guyana, they still love the monarchy,” he said.
“But now…who does it benefit? London. I was a Marine but it wasn’t for Queen and country, it was for the lads. I do like tradition but… the monarchy isn’t doing anything for us.
“We’ve got people need feeding, you only to speak to teachers round here, you’ve got schools that have to have washing machines to clean the kids’ clothes.”
Not everyone i spoke to felt negative about the monarchy.
One man who had draped a Liverpool FC flag from his window said: “I don’t mind them, they don’t bother me to be honest”.
Asked if he’d prefer Britain became a republic, he said no, adding: “Look at what happened in France”.
Liverpool Riverside has a slightly younger population than average, driven in part by the large number of students living there.
Friends Marcus Holdsworth, Will Neil, both 20, and Mia Stoppes, aged 19, said they weren’t surprised that the constituency is the country’s least royalist.
“When you come from Liverpool no one’s bothered,” Mr Holdsworth said. “It’s the history of Thatcherism, it’s an anti-establishment city, it’s a port city, you’ve got a lot of people came from Ireland.”
All three said they would vote for a republic if offered the chance.
“I don’t think [the Royal Family] is necessary,” said Mr Neil. “There’s no point in it, it only brings in tourism.”
But Mr Holdsworth interjected: “More people visit Chester Zoo than visit Buckingham Palace” – which is true.
He continued: “I was saying to my mum, we were driving home and I saw bunting everywhere, we were so close [to Liverpool] but you would never see that here.”
Their comments suggest that with the Queen’s reign coming to its end, the Royal Family may face an increasing challenge to find relevancy with a younger generation.
Angus McKinnon, 21, and Ben Thompson, 30, who run Nomad coffee shop on Smithdown Road, Liverpool, said they feel little “identification” with the current crop of royals.
“There’s not a lot that comes out that’s appealing about the Royal Family any more,” said Mr McKinnon.
“Every day there’s another headline and it’s all negative.”
Despite Liverpool disappointing result in the Champion’s League final at the weekend, Mr Thompson was clear on where his priorities lie.
“It’s football first definitely,” he said. “The Queen is the bottom of the list… they should get her in a Liverpool top that would make her more popular.”