i Editor's Letter: I am relatively ambivalent about the Windsors


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The Independent Online


We can never stir up hornets' nests half as much when we try to as when it's unintentional. A case in point was our front page yesterday. It wasn't that readers objected to our reporting clear disappointment with a poor Queen's Speech, it was more the picture we chose of the Queen herself to illustrate the story.

As you can tell from some of the letters, i readers saw in our choice a conspiracy to portray the Queen unflatteringly (is that a word?) or cruelly. Well, with the proviso that we were not looking for her to be laughing – as that would jar with the story, we had no such intention. We simply chose what we believed might be a striking and, ok, slightly arresting image of an elderly woman all of us have seen many times before.

I have written before that we are still a new newspaper, finding out daily what the tastes of our growing readership are. Let's not forget we are born of probably the most avowedly "indifferent to the Royals" daily paper in Britain, The Independent. By now, we should not have to explain that we are the same but different to The Indy, but one of the more obvious areas lies in our attitude towards the House of Windsor. As there is no "i view", I'll give you mine. I am relatively ambivalent. I don't get agitated by their existence, and I don't hunger after a daily diet of Kate and Wills and all things Harry. My real view, as much as I think about them, is that they are in 2012 quite useful charity and UK tourism revenue drivers, and we need not worry about them much beyond that.

But, to prove we are not biased against the Windsors, we have an unusual, charming photograph of Prince Charles in today's paper.