Letter: End this flummery

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your leading article (24 November) advocating ending the tradition of the Queen's opening of Parliament set my mind to what other constitutional "flummery" could be done away with; other long-standing examples of pointless ceremonial pomp that aren't required in a modern democracy.

The coronation for example. Is there really any need for a huge grand bit of feudal pageantry when a new sovereign takes the place of their predecessor? Wouldn't it be much more in accord with the aspirations of modern forward-thinking Britain to simplify this constitutional requirement as much as possible?

Perhaps if the Archbishop of Canterbury simply drove up to the palace and ... No. In a modern multi-denominational United Kingdom all constitutional reference to religion ought to be done away with. It would be better if the Lord Chancellor were to simply drive up to ... The Lord Chancellor? That office is a complete anachronism itself and ought to be abolished forthwith.

It would be best if a nice young man from the United Parcel Service were to deliver the Crown Jewels packed in bubble pad to the Palace. The King could then have himself crowned at his convenience, retire to his study, and e-mail the Coronation Oath to the nation and Commonwealth. This would surely go a long way toward modernising and streamlining the monarchy and ensuring the institution's continued popularity.

TREVOR PICKERSGILL

Akita Prefecture,

Japan

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