ONE would have to be curmudgeonly not to wish the Duchess of Cambridge well (as one would any pregnant young woman) at this time of her life and hope that this particular phase comes to a happy outcome ("Royal joy as Kate expects a future king or queen", The Herald, December 4).

Some of us, I believe, can be forgiven for being rendered less than ecstatic by the prospect that the child, who will be born in due course into privilege, indulgence, and preferential treatment, will one day occupy the throne as the monarch of this country after the demise of his or her grandfather and father.

One can only hope that by the time the child becomes an adult, more and more people, including those who live in countries like Australia and Canada, will come, upon reflection, to realise how much of an anachronistic and class-bound institution the British monarchy represents and that peaceful, rather tha revolutionary, change is eventually inevitable.

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Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road,