Letter: Royalty and the ratpack

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The Independent Online
Sir: Matthew Symonds's article ('John Major's duty to his Queen', 10 September) on the crisis faced by the Royal Family was well-meaning, and I appreciated the sympathetic concern he brought to its distress. But in suggesting that the Royal Family will protect itself against further criticism by adjusting the Civil List, he plays into the hands of the people whose bloodlust, as he rightly says, would not even be satisfied with the destruction of the Wales's marriage.

Does Mr Symonds seriously think that, if the Queen made the financial changes he recommends, the press would start to respect her privacy and that of her family? Far from it: her actions would simply serve to justify the claims of the press that those who it calls 'the minor Royals' are parasites.

The issue is not merely the economics of the monarchy; nor is it the economics of newspaper-selling, for all the talk of circulation wars. The terrible malevolence of the ratpack towards anyone who fails to conform to its hypocritical morality seems to go beyond greed for money. It is a cancer in our society that must be tackled head on.

The power of the press to destroy lives is formidable. Who is brave enough to tackle it?

Yours sincerely,


London, NW3

11 September