Sovereign is above the fray but the Prince is free to speak

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From: William Snowden, Dobrudden Park, Baildon Moor, Baildon.

THE rights of the constitutional monarch were succinctly enunciated by the constitutional historian, Walter Bagehot: to be consulted, to encourage and to warn (The English Constitution, 1867).

It would be a hubristic Prime Minister indeed who, in his weekly audience with the Queen, did not avail himself of Her Majesty’s great wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom. Such audiences are held in private, and in confidence.

As the incontrovertible, incorruptible and unimpeachable guardian of the constitution, however, the sovereign must remain above the party political fray.

The heir presumptive is not bound by the established conventions that define and circumscribe the rights of the constitutional monarch. Prince Charles has the inalienable right to freely express his opinions and beliefs, verbally and in writing, to whomsoever he pleases; but he must be wary of being drawn into contentious matters of a party political nature.

Like his mother, the Queen, Prince Charles embodies the traditional values of honour, duty and service to the nation. This is evidenced not only by his conspicuous devotion to his public duties, but by the extraordinary range and scope of his charitable endeavours – which are the most extensive in Britain. Truly admirable.

The constitutional monarchy has evolved over 1,000 years of British history, from concepts of the “divine right of kings” to the present day, where the monarch reigns only to serve – by consent.

We would be fools indeed if we allowed political agitators to undermine this unique institution.

From: Andrew Gentles, Hollins Crescent, Harrogate.

PHILIP Smith’s diatribe against the monarchy and Prince Charles shows that good old fashioned prejudice is still going strong (The Yorkshire Post, July 3).

“The sooner we are a republic the better”, he says. He maintains Prince Charles has influence over the Government. This is debatable. Neither the Queen nor he have any executive power. Perhaps Mr Smith would prefer a political leader like Mr Berlusconi, now in jail, who put a new slant on the more active role women could play in Italian political life; or maybe Mr Sarkozy in France, now facing corruption charges.

He raises the question of the expense of the monarchy, which is chicken feed compared to the amount we pay to the EU.