Letter: Good news for republicans

Click to follow
The Independent Online
AT FIRST glance the results of your NOP poll may provide reassurance for supporters of the Royal Family, but it reveals trends that may not be so comforting. Respect for the monarchy is weaker among the under- 35s, and it is with this generation that its future will rest, especially given that the Prince of Wales is unlikely to accede to the throne before early next century.

The question of the likely royal divorce is unimportant from a constitutional point of view, but does raise a crucial point in that, increasingly, people wish to express their approval or otherwise of their future heir to the throne. What we are gradually seeing is a tacit 'election' of the next head of state. The Prince's recent television documentary is evidence of this, being an opportunity to justify his position to a more and more sceptical public.

The choice of potential presidential candidates offered to the poll sample was desperately unimaginative. A future president might well be non-executive in status, so there would be no need for an ex-politician. Candidates could be drawn from business, the arts, science or other sources. The election of an ex-royal for the first term might well be a transitional step from monarchy to republic.

What is obvious, though, is that questions are being asked in a way that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. A republic is now being considered as a serious option for this country.

Jon Temple



London W14