Letters to the Editor: Britain’s monarchy works, even if it seems weird to Americans

Britain's King Charles III at Westminster Hall
Britain’s King Charles III sits at Westminster Hall in London on Sept. 12 as both houses of Parliament meet to express their condolences following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
(Henry Nicholls / Associated Press)

To the editor: Growing up in England in the 1940s and ’50s, I always understood the monarchy to be a “hidden export.” The cost was considered well worth it, when the income from tourism to Great Britain was counted. (“King Charles now rules a monarchy that may have to change to survive,” Sept. 9)

Granted, in today’s world the institution can do with a reasonable amount of trimming, which may occur under King Charles III.

However, how refreshing it is have a head of state who is not overtly (or blatantly) political. It may seem to be a strange system, but so far it appears to work.


Valerie A. Paulson, Yorba Linda


To the editor: The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has been an occasion for recognizing her outstanding virtues. But the very recitation of her extraordinary range of moral and personal strengths exposes a gaping void in the way virtue is cultivated in society.

Over seven decades, opportunities existed to say to the young of Britain: “Pay attention to the conduct and attitudes of this woman whose face is on your coins. Do you see how she listens with interest to every point of view but doesn’t involve herself in the arguments raging around her? Do you see how she cares for people at every level of the realm? Do you see the unfailing grace with which she meets every crisis and disappointment? If so, you can fashion yourself in her image if you embrace the ideals she stands for.”

I never heard a message like this during my childhood or teens in England. The queen was simply up there at the top of the tree, utterly removed from the ordinary “rest of us.”

What an abysmal waste of a unique asset. It is truly preposterous that such a rare and costly asset was not put to an educational use.

The ceremonial face of the monarchy may be of unequivocal value, but the moral nurturance of coming generations is infinitely more vital. If monarchy is still to serve a purpose in our decidedly non-monarchical world, it surely could be found here.


Simon Marcus, Riverside


To the editor: Certainly there may be problems with hereditary leaders. However, the Brits almost totally limited their actual powers, so that there is not much harm they can do if they go off the rails and turn out a Trump-like figure.

The secret ingredient they have is their huge “celebrity.” Even Americans go nuts over this. People lap it up, seemingly everywhere.

The queen understood public relations, hence the bright monochrome outfits so she could always be recognized in public. Even the family soap operas add to this celebrity and make the royals more human at the same time.

Edward Strelow, San Jacinto