Please allow me to answer some of the the points raised by ‘Davey’, letters, September 28. First of all he or she seems unable to differentiate between true patriotism, the love for or loyalty to one’s country, and nationalism which is a form of fanatical and aggressive patriotism.
It is the latter which is displayed by many of those who attend England football matches, particularly abroad, when singing the national anthem.
Davey alleges that people donate millions to charities simply because the royals are the patrons of these particular charities. What a spurious claim!
People donate because they support a charity’s aims and the fact that it has the word ‘Royal’ as a prefix has no influence whatsoever on their generosity.
He goes on to outline the functional role played by the Queen in summoning Parliament, appointing the Prime Minister etc. She is merely acting as the puppet monarch which she is in reality.
Does Davey really believe that she writes the Queen’s Speech herself?
These ceremonial functions could just as adequately be performed by a president who would not cost the £334 million per year which is the millstone placed around the neck of this country’s finances by the monarchy. This sum is a hundred times in excess of the cost to the Republic of Ireland for their president.
Davey states that ‘the Queen is much loved here in the UK and around the world’ but gives no evidence to support this assumption. In fact her 63 years on the throne has been marked by inaction, silence and a determination to protect the monarchy from scrutiny or challenge. The Royal family is surrounded by secrecy because it has so much to hide from the British public.
He further alleges that the royal family generate £12 in tourism for every £1 spent on it. Yet Windsor Castle, for example, is less of a tourist attraction than Chester Zoo or Stonehenge, being ranked no higher than 24th by ALVA the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.
Does Davey imagine tourists come to this country simply in the hope of catching a glimpse of one of the royals? They come because of our rich, diverse history and wonderful countryside not because we have a royal family.
As for trade deals backed by the princes being of benefit to the country, has Davey forgotten the questionable business connections of Prince Andrew?
I could go on but appreciate that space is at a premium but would make a final point as to where the royals’ loyalty really lies – to their own kind in other countries.
Can Davey remember the Queen’s husband attending the funeral of Emperor Hirohito of Japan, a man who should have been put on trial as a war criminal in 1945, or the flying of British flags at half mast following the death of the King of Saudi Arabia, which is a country with an appalling human rights record?
I am loyal to my country and believe that it would be far more democratic to have an elected president in preference to an unelected monarch who millions of my fellow citizens do not want.
Note that we are citizens not subjects!