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

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Sir: What is extraordinary in recent discussion of members of the Royal Family and of the survival of the monarchy itself is that the two are linked at all.

I can think of no other institution where such twisted thinking obtains. Bad presidents, bad popes and bad politicians do not whip up calls for the abolition of presidency, papacy or parliaments. The worth of the person, who is temporary, and the value of the office, which is permanent, are kept separate.

The trappings and ritual of monarchy and the line of royalty go back much further in these islands than a mere thousand years. To damn these because of a disillusionment (one which I do not happen to share) in one or two personalities presents a type of categorical confusion that is seldom pointed out. Indeed, it is the very lack of recognition of this point which makes the institution, unfairly, so vulnerable.

Yours, ALLAN JAMES Salalah, Sultanate of Oman 23 October