The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Princess pips Queen to post
- Surprise name on list of top 10 Britons likely to raise dust

London, Oct. 19 (Reuters): Winston Churchill, Princess Diana and John Lennon made it — but Tony Blair, Queen Elizabeth II, and Paul McCartney failed to register in the list of top 10 Britons of all time.

The 10, selected from a BBC phone and Internet poll involving more than 30,000 Britons, hail from the 16th century to the modern day and include scientists, royals and military figures.

Some of the names on the list — such as William Shakespeare —were unsurprising, but the choice of Princess Diana and Beatles legend Lennon would probably raise eyebrows, the BBC said.

The top 10 were:

Queen Elizabeth I, whose reign had a significant impact on economic, social, religious and political life in England;

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister during World War II;

Naturalist Charles Darwin, famous for his theory on evolution put forward in his book, The Origin of Species;

Naval hero Horatio Nelson, who led the British fleet to victory over the larger joint fleets of Spain and France at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. This victory led to the erection of Nelson’s column and the creation of Trafalgar Square in London;

Oliver Cromwell, a prime mover in the execution of King Charles I and later Lord Protector during the short British republic in the 17th century;

Isaac Newton, whose work in mathematics and physics laid the foundation for modern science;

Dramatist and poet William Shakespeare;

Engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the Clifton Bridge in Bristol, western England;

Princess Diana, hailed for her charity work but best known for her failed marriage to heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles;

John Lennon, singer and songwriter for the Beatles.

Over the next five weeks, presenters will deliver an hour-long argument on why each Briton should be named the greatest in TV programmes on BBC Two. Viewers will then vote for the winner.

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