LETTER : Royalty unites us as democracy never can

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You decry monarchy because precedence should be the reward of merit ("Most royally exposed", 25 August). That, however, is hard to define and harder to identify. For you it is judged by the elector. If someone can get 35 per cent of the vote in a dirty campaign and split the opposition, is he meritorious?

The truth is that we should not ride one principle to death. There is room for inherited obligation and responsibility. There is value in an office which does not pretend to have been obtained by merit, but which is held with gratitude and humility. The Crown (and the Cross, which you hope to sweep out with it) speaks of the things that unite us, like our common frailty and our instinct that true merit is generally rewarded by martyrdom.

G Meynell

Kirk Langley, Derby