Opinion | Is It Time to Abolish the Monarchy?

To the Editor:

Re “Down With the British Monarchy,” by Hamilton Nolan (Op-Ed, nytimes.com, March 10):

Mr. Nolan has done a hilarious job of depicting Britain’s continuation of its monarchy as a wasteful anachronism. This lavish expenditure of the commoners’ tax money may have had its place hundreds of years ago before the advent of British democracy.

The king or queen then actually had a real job — running a government, defending the country from invaders, deciding how public funds should be spent. The head that bore the crown often had to risk it on the battlefield. The nonhereditary have that job today.

Maybe the British would wake up from this foolishness if Americans weren’t so enthralled with the royals and didn’t flock to Buckingham Palace in the hopes of glimpsing the queen or at least provoking a guard into a smile.

Alan Mass

To the Editor:

Hamilton Nolan must have used considerable restraint not to utter the phrase “off with their heads.” He misses the fundamental point of the monarchy today: stability in the head of state. Despite all the many flaws that come with Britain’s monarchy, few anti-monarchists would likely describe the current queen as a “wastrel.” Her nearly 70 years of peerless dedication to the public are testament to that.

By bringing in around £2 billion a year in trade, influence and tourism, for just a little more than a pound annually per British citizen, the Firm makes the returns on the Fortune 500 look paltry.

Given that Queen Elizabeth is one of the most respected heads of state on the world stage today, if you’re going to have a symbolic head of state, she’s probably not a bad choice.

Matthew White

To the Editor:

I couldn’t agree more with Hamilton Nolan. The only thing I would change is the order of things to take away: titles first. No one will bow and scrape before a Mr. or Ms. Windsor. They should probably let the old lady live out her reign and then pull the plug on the whole thing.

Patricia MacEnulty
Tallahassee, Fla.

To the Editor:

When discussing the relevance of the British monarchy, be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The top six countries in the world rated by quality of life are constitutional monarchies/parliamentary democracies, and Britain slides in there at No. 12, ahead of the United States (No. 15). There are solid governance reasons that a parliamentary democracy works better for its citizens than a republic, which America is now discovering to its sorrow.

Perhaps it might have been better to be patient and negotiate free and independent governance, as did Canada (No. 1 in quality of life), Australia (No. 5) and New Zealand (No. 8). A little less gumption, a little more patience and diplomacy.

PS. If you ask politely, perhaps Queen Elizabeth will take you back.

John Seigner
Calgary, Alberta

To the Editor:

Re “At Royal ‘Firm,’ Pressing Worry Is Family Image” (front page, March 10):

It never ceases to amaze me the value that news organizations and people put on the British royal family. When will everyone realize that there is nothing special about these royals? They are no different from anyone else except in their fortune of being born into or marrying into that family. What is even more sad is the fact that people and news organizations continue to elevate the royals to their privileged status. Why?

Royalty is an anachronism and should be dissolved. Royals everywhere live off the backs of the rest of the people who work to support their lavish lives. Enough already!

Michael Hadjiargyrou
Centerport, N.Y.

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