British are known for their organizing skills. They beautifully manage crowds and rush by forming an orderly queue in any crowded location, from a theatre door to airport security. Queuing and making organized lines comes naturally to all British people. They are perfect at avoiding chaos.
According to social historians, it’s actually all a bit of a myth. However, there is evidence to suggest that it was born from the Brits wanting to create fairness and equality among their peers.
Queue culture developed to regulate life and to minimize the amount of suffering experienced while waiting. The queue culture provides direction on such matters as place-keeping privileges, sanctions against pushing in, and rights of temporary absence from the waiting line.
A common British trait is that despite everybody in the queue being annoyed with someone who has pushed in, very few people will ask that person to go to the back of the queue. British people do not like to cause a scene by arguing.
The first notable instances of Britons adhering to the queuing format came from the early 19th century, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. As cities began to grow bigger, larger numbers of people started to gravitate to them for work. Naturally, this influx of people required everyone to create a more structured way to do everyday things, such as posting letters at the post office and buying things at local shops, to help ensure these tasks could be done as quickly and effectively as before.
The Brits’ reputation for being civilized queues, however, was born in wartime Britain. During such a period of uncertainty that was brought with the arrival of the Second World War, the government was keen to retain as much order as possible, resulting in propaganda addressing people to ‘do duty and wait for turn’ when it came to activities such as collecting rations. Ever since then, forming a queue has been instilled in the nature of the Brit, and has become an almost humorous characteristic to tourists. Queuing, it’s what the British are renowned for doing and doing very well.