ALTHOUGH I do not agree with Ian W Thomson's republican view (Letters, December 6) I defend his right to voice it.

However he seems to wish to ignore the fact that in referring to the "privilege, indulgence, and preferential treatment" into which the child of the Duchess of Cambridge will arrive, these are all relative terms. Some people living in the more deprived areas of Scotland would undoubtedly note that both he and I are privileged to live in very desirable areas of the country and we were able to exercise our own personal preferences and decisions in this indulgence.

The fact is that any baby born into royalty is trammelled on a course of public duty and lack of individual choice and free will which would make ordinary people run a mile.

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The stress of carrying such awesome role responsibility killed George VI at the age of 56. That the present Queen has displayed such an extraordinary model of how to be a head of state is surely proof that the system of succession can work magnificently. It is simply by a chance of birth but that, clearly, is the whole point.

The recent Presidential race in the US cost an estimated equivalent of £1.6 billion.With that alternative scenario how could we deny Kate's baby a silver spoon?

We know that the system can have cracks like any family and I concede that the Queen's uncle Edward VIII rather let the side down.

Had he been a president rather than a king I expect no-one would have bothered whom he married as I am certain we would have different expectations in a republic where a British president would likely manoeuvre their way into office, by any means, through the ignoble mire of politics.

Bill Brown,

46 Breadie Drive,