Letter:Navy can do job of royal yacht

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The Independent Online
Sir: The politicians' attempt to make political capital from linking the future of the royal yacht to the Queen's personal prestige and popularity can only harm the sense of national cohesion that must be the foundation of the monarchy itself (report, 23 January).

The Royal Family travels by air. Most major cities they visit have British and Commonwealth embassies with acceptable standards of communications, security and comfort. The larger Royal Naval warships are capable of providing the same in more remote locations, albeit on a temporary basis for a smaller entourage.

Royal Naval ships already routinely host receptions for local dignitaries and British expatriates. I recall an admiral and his wife entertaining a Malaysian sultan and his retinue offshore, with dignified hospitality that attracted much favourable comment at minimum expense to the UK taxpayer.

If politicians' motives are genuinely about replacing the royal yacht for the benefit of the Queen rather than their own election chances, they should postpone a decision until after the election.

JOHN E TRICKS

Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon

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