Duke and Duchess of Sussex: Should monarchy be scrapped?

One of your correspondents (Letters, Observer March 18 – and see below) has suggested the abolishment of our monarchy to save money and replacement with an elected head of state, writes reader Tony Rigby, of Southdean Close, Middleton.

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825438 SUS-190204-104633003
Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Chichester. Pic Steve Robards SR1825438 SUS-190204-104633003

There are, however, at least three fundamental problems with this idea. Firstly, do we really want another politician (a president) interfering with our lives – surely we are currently over endowed with those?

Our royal family does a great job for the country and, while being non-political, is a proud guardian of our history, heritage and fundamental freedoms.

Secondly, such reform would be very expensive – presidents and their entourages do not come cheap and will have to be paid for by taxpayers.

Currently, it is little appreciated that the country gets a significant profit from the Crown, due to the fact that the cost is more than covered by income handed to the Treasury by the Queen’s property company. For example, in 2019 the surplus was £250million.

Thirdly, it is highly unlikely that any move to abolish the monarchy would achieve popular public support.

We should value what we are lucky to have, particularly in the light of so many countries in the past and present suffering the baleful and tyrannical effects of presidential rule, supported by military force rather than the electorate.


Better off scrapping the monarchy altogether?

Regarding the question regarding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a better question might be – do we really need HRHs, dukes and duchesses, princes and the female version, and all the other hereditary titles?

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Harry and Meghan should lose Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, readers say

The radical Tom Paine, who was credited with helping the US become independent from Britain, described them as medieval nicknames.

It’s time we modernised our institutional structures including the monarchy, house of lords, honours system, etc.

Let’s escape from the past and stop bowing and scraping, including curtsying, to institutions long past their sell by date. Ideally we should have an elected head of state like most other developed countries. Worth mentioning that it was in 1917 that the Windsors arrived in Britain. Before that they were called Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The cost of maintaining the current monarchy structure is enormous.

The money could and should be better spent elsewhere, for example the NHS.

Margot Swift, Marine Drive, West Wittering