Simon, I have no strong views about how we find a head of state but do I believe there is the need for a conversation about the power of the Government and, as has been much discussed, the ability of our system to deliver adequate checks and balances.

On the monarchy, my responses and reflections to recent events were:

1. To ignore much of the UK media coverage after the initial announcement and turn on again for the funeral.

2. To be reminded that the institution of the monarchy and the position of the monarch is never as secure as we have come to believe during a 70 year reign.

3. To be reminded of the human need for ritual. As most people don't have a religious life anymore, there is a pent up desire to participate in a ceremony. Even the language people used was reminiscent of the responses in a religious service.

4. That, for many people, the interesting stuff was all about the royals as soap opera/entertainment. Not quite as respectful as the dull media coverage suggested.

5. That the coverage was insular. Reactions in places outside Britain included bemusement and a reminder of what it meant to be colonised.

Thanks for another thought provoking post.

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This is becoming a bit of a habit – me replying to your posts 😊

I was somewhat censured by my fellow members of a slightly nerdy but quite serious wargaming club for suggesting that King Charles 3 may not be as ideal a constitutional monarch as his mother ( for whom I have had a great deal of respect).

The main issue is the temptation to comment and essentially lobby for particular political outcomes which was so much a feature of the Prince of Wales career to date. I am told that on his 70th birthday the then Prince of Wales said that he would desist from such engagement. However it is rare for a 76-year-old man to truly change such a well ingrained habit. Having said that ,I wish King Charles 3 all good intentions – indeed I drank his health ( in rather fine aged malt whisky) at a recent meeting on the above-mentioned club.

So far as the issue of whether a monarchy can ever be truly fit for purpose in a C21 democracy – it is a complicated question. I am a bit of a closet republican (albeit being right of centre politically) born of a total belief in social mobility through meritocracy . I must say I have started to come out of the closet over past ten days when it was almost impossible to find a TV channel that was not asking the umpteenth person what the queen meant to them! However my overriding instinct on the matter is not to be moved to action unless there are serious breaches of the constitutional monarchy code (whatever that is!). The actual pageantry was splendid and for a short while we were almost all in it together – were we not?

What I do celebrate about a constructional monarchy is that it has avoided, if only narrowly, “President Boris”, “President Blair” etc. On the other hand, I do believe that it does prop up the (remains?) of a class system which is inappropriate in a modern context and there surely can be no rational defence of “primo genitor” for selecting a head of state in a country where beliefs are now rather more secular than scared - and certainly not the Church of England consensus of the past.

On balance I would like to misquote the greatest Englishman who ever lived (or racist genocidal maniac – depending on one’s point of view) – Constitutional Monarchy may seem flawed but it may be better than the alternatives.

God Save the King! (From himself ?)

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