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Letter: Modernise the monarchy - it encourages us to stay in the past

THE ARTICLE on the future of the monarchy by Mark Leonard and Tim Hames ("They have to change", 6 September), contains admirable analysis and good proposals. In a referendum I would vote for Britain to become a republic, but have always felt I would be willing to accept a compromise; the Demos report supplies one. I worry though that the ardent monarchists will argue that the proposals constitute abolition of the monarchy in all but name. The raison d'etre of monarchy, they say, is its claim to the divine right and constitutional prerogative, which provides substance for the imaginative focus.

Britain must also cease its habit of looking backwards, one that the monarchy encourages, and which has detrimental repercussions for the well-being of the country. There is nothing wrong in remembering the achievements of the past, but only when they have been consigned to the history books. They should not be used to determine the nature of political and social relations for all time.


London N1