THOSE in favour of a constitutional monarchy often argue that its key virtue, over an elected president, lies in the fact that the monarch is above politics, not put in place by the shifting whim of an electorate, not sullied by the arguments of daily life. That is why they can represent the British people at home and abroad without causing offence or division.

Such an argument becomes untenable if the monarchy makes political remarks that impact negatively on the nation as a whole. Prince Charles’s remarks comparing Russia with the Nazis were unacceptable; in making them he has provoked tensions between this nation and Russia. That is precisely why we pay the monarchy not to venture opinions.

Of course, the hypocrisy of the Daily Mail was much in evidence too. While protesting loudly that the prince must have the right to make private remarks, it was the Mail that ensured that those remarks were not private but were instead broadcast around the world.

Lest the Mail’s inglorious history be forgotten, in the 1930s the Daily Mail and its former proprietor Lord Rothermere used the paper to praise the Nazis, Mussolini, and Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists.

Christian Vassie, Blake Court, Wheldrake, York.