Letter: Monarchy today: hereditary principle, God's will, persons and offices

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The Independent Online
Sir: If the royal image can no longer be that of being halfway between God and man, it still remains the incarnation of the hereditary principle. No doubt, one day our sovereigns will be bred like nature's queen bee, for specific functions, also impartiality and dignity, and will be of no recognisable sex, colour, opinion or party, and be fed the one food perfected for the purpose. But until then we must evaluate the institution of monarchy on its merits at a national level and separate it to the degree possible from the Royal Family on the human level.

The institution of monarchy bestows the unquestioned benefit of continuity and the recognition of life's basic principle of renewal and survival - the ineluctable fact of our being geared to life and death, the heritage over generations that gives this country and the other constitutional monarchies their basic stability. The Royal Family suffers the trials and tribulations of all human families and as such allows us to feel our common identity and, equally, to express sympathy and compassion.

Why has the press stressed antagonism, rather than referred to the summer at Balmoral when the Duke of Edinburgh taught his son sailing, fishing, and shooting? Why has that charming letter, where the Duke of Edinburgh refers to the Prince of Wales's saintly conduct towards his wife, not attracted more attention? Is it that humanity adores making and breaking its idols, elevating them to a perfection unattainable and then destroying them for the least evidence of human frailty?

We are privileged to have in Prince Charles the ideal candidate for the Crown. He has been trained not only in responsibility and efficacy in the exercise of 'manly' virtues (navy, sport, etc), but also in music and philosophy. He has a deep love of nature, a high aesthetic desire and a compassion for the living environment and for his people, which is enhanced by his first-hand knowledge of much human pain. In all these ways, he is fit to be king.

Yours faithfully, YEHUDI MENUHIN London, NW1 21 October

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