LETTER : Chirac's right royal retinue

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From Ms Shirley Pritchard

Sir: Further to Andrew Marr's article ("Vive la republique! Et vive le roi!", 8 August), I was amused by a piece in the local paper when I was holidaying in the Correze last month.

The article described how the village near to President Chirac's chateau at Bity has been inundated with visitors. This is despite the poor state of the area's roads, and its remoteness from any large centres of population. The sightseers are hoping to catch a glimpse of the chateau which is surrounded by woods and patrolled by armed guards.

One visitor was asked her reasons for making this unproductive journey - "It is the nearest we will get to having a royal family" she said!

Yours faithfully,

Shirley Pritchard

London, SW19

8 August