"Italian royals face lukewarm welcome home" (14 December) was more of a hatchet job than a fair assessment. King Vittorio Emanuele III, as a constitutional monarch, did not have the power to crush fascism; particularly as Mussolini was very popular.

In 1943, when the King was able to act, he had Mussolini arrested and deposed. He appointed Marshal Badoglio as head of government. Andrew Gumbel gives him no credit for this.

The referendum that decided against the monarchy was very close and there is strong suspicion that fraud skewed the result.Since the departure of King Umberto Italy has had the most dishonest republic in Europe.

Gordon Line

Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex