Like Michael Stenton (“Letter From England: Thoroughly Modern Monarchy” March), I am amazed by these “modern” Englishmen who are so rapidly dismantling the finest constitution in the world, without the traces of which the United States and Canada would be far more lost than they already are.

The only objection which can fairly be raised against the monarchy in Great Britain is that William of Orange was unable to secure Prince James Edward Stuart as his successor. I note, however, that Dr. Stenton admires the ring leader in the murder of Prince James Edward’s grandfather in 1649. He says that Oliver Cromwell nobly refused the Crown. Winston Churchill’s insight, in the second volume of his History of the English-Speaking Peoples, is more astute: “a group of lawyers and gentry decided to offer Cromwell the Crown. ‘The title of Protector,’ said one of them, ‘is not limited by any rule or law; the title of King is.'”

The Crown is the foundation of the constitution. Take it away, and you get the likes of Cromwell, who destroyed the fundamental law in England, committed genocide in Ireland, and left Scotland an orphaned province. If the British allow the monarchy to go, they will be as stupid and corrupt as those Americans who rejoiced over Bill Clinton’s acquittal on impeachment for perjury.

I am comforted by Dr. Stenton’s observation that Tony Blair is not very bright. Like Cromwell, Blair is dangerous enough without brains. The British have their Diana, and we Americans our Monica, both femmes fatales. Because Diana was more cunning and beautiful, she posed a more ominous threat to civilization.

A friend of mine in the House of Lords told me that the “reforms” now under way in the upper chamber will make the institution “more democratic.” He made this remark innocently, just as Neville Chamberlain smiled innocently on his return from Munich. Because it is impossible to govern any country without the support of the people at large, democracy is indispensable. But democracy is a necessary evil in constant need of constitutional checks to keep it from becoming a monster. Whether or not it makes sense to superficial observers, the House of Lords works, and so it should not be reformed. The only reason it does not work better is that it has already been overly reformed.

I fault Queen Liz for having given up too much. I hope Charlie has a try at it before she gives away the farm. A king is a human being with human imperfections, but he is also the symbolic embodiment of all that is good and right in public life. I am convinced that Charlie is a sensitive and good man, which probably explains why he is not universally popular, and why he may become, by the grace of God—aye, a bonnie King!

        —John Remington Graham
St. Agapit, Quebec