MUCH of what Ian Bell writes about the monarchy is true ("Royals succeed because they're just too big to fail", The Herald, January 2 ).

The royals have had an incredibly successful year, largely helped by an almost exclusively pro-monarchy media. However, his assessment that republicanism in Britain is in retreat is simply not true.

The Republic campaign group has been gathering momentum at an incredible rate over the past two years. The royal wedding, the diamond jubilee and the recent royal pregnancy announcement have all led to huge jumps in the Republic support base. We have around 26,000 active supporters in the UK, a number which has tripled since the beginning of 2010. Our protest on the banks of the Thames on the day of the flotilla celebrating the jubilee attracted around 1200 people, the largest Republic protest in recent times, and was widely covered in the press and on TV news. Furthermore, in the past two years Republic has started the process of establishing small, local groups, all over the UK, including Republic Scotland, whose protest on the Royal Mile during the Queen's visit to Edinburgh last summer was widely reported. It is therefore wrong to say that republicanism is in retreat. The republican movement in this country has never been better organised, financed or more popular.

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Paul Leinster,

Chairman, Republic Scotland, Suite 14040, 145-157 St John Street, London.