AS Harry and Meghan wish to opt out of some or most royal duties, they should accept this will involve the loss of some or most of the status, privilege, support and protection they enjoy from the state as full-time working royals. Their suggestion appears to be for them to somehow become semi-detached senior royals living an essentially private life between Canada and the UK, picking and choosing the royal duties they wish to perform, all of which sounds impractical and likely to be unacceptable to the other senior royals.

Instead of this neither in nor out suggestion, would it not be better for all concerned to accept that Harry and Meghan should make a clean break, allowing them to escape from their hatred of the critical scrutiny all royals attract, and to pursue their obvious desire for a much more private and independent family life? To make that clean break, the symbolic and honourable steps they would need to take would involve renouncing formally their Sussex titles (gifted to them in anticipation of their future royal duties) , and for Harry to renounce also any claim to the succession, however unlikely. Regrettably, from their recent behaviour I cannot see them doing any of that voluntarily, and the punitive alternative of stripping them of them seems unlikely.

The sad reality is that for some time Harry and Meghan have been planning this major step in secret with legal and other advisors. They made their announcement only once they had prepared the ground to seek their financial independence by commercialising the celebrity status they have through their royal titles, as witnessed by them seeking extensive trade and service mark registrations covering respectively a wide range of goods and services. This demonstrates a clear intention to use their royal titles to promote the marketing, however tacky, of these goods and services, presumably through licensing on a worldwide basis and without regard to the likely damage this will do to the general reputation, respect and affection in which the Royal Family is held at present.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

HAVE we no bottom to our thirst for sensationalism? Never mind the Australian bush fires, Jakarta floods, and lost lives in plane crash when we can salivate over juicy gossip and speculation.

Let's criticise Meghan for flying off to Canada to her son instead of abandoning Archie, to muddy the waters with Harry back here ("Backlash begins as royal couple refuse to give up lavish lifestyles", The Herald, January 10).

Let's have another go at Charles, suggesting he would cut his son off without a penny after the family's past history.

Let's assume Harry was reckless in going to print too early, and forget the alleged pressures from some of the media (not The Herald) to publish.

Let's forget our praise for his stand on mental health issues and pile pressure on a vulnerable young man and his family.

Let's forget reports from Canada that suggests the tabloid press over there seems less "in your face" and a public not obsessed with selfies.

Please can we give this branch of the Royal Family a break and let them work things out?

Please can we give our Queen, who has served us so well and sacrificially for so long, some "space".

I'm not a Royalist as such, but do think this couple and their family need our prayers rather than our thirst for gossip.

James Watson, Dunbar.

IT was the Australian Germaine Greer who first said of Meghan Markle: "She's a bolter." I thought she meant the American divorcée wasn't the stuff of which marriages are made but clearly she meant the TV actress doesn't do real life in any form and was capable of starting a fight in any empty room.

What are we to make of another "popular member" of the Royal Family falling an American divorcee and fleeing the coup? I suspect our judgment of royals is a seriously suspect. Edward VIII knotted his tie well and gave the correct version of the Nazi salute but was otherwise a bit of a waster.

His great-great-nephew looked good in an SS uniform (the family's 'away strip'?) and knew the jargon of fashionable mental illnesses but otherwise didn't play strip poker very well or much else (a B in art and D in geography is hardly the upper reaches of academic achievement).

I doubt we'll miss either of them and I suspect North America will soon tire of the endless negativity of this unbelievably-entitled, whiney pair.

Rev Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.

ONE is concerned about how the douce denizens of the ancient town of Dumbarton, created a royal burgh in 1222, are coping with the brouhaha generated by the decision of their Earl and Countess to stand back from front line royal duties. Are they struggling to deal with the turmoil?

Will they be able to contain themselves as this extraordinary episode unfolds? It is about two years since the townsfolk had bestowed on them, no doubt unsought, at the hands of the Queen, an Earl and a Countess who have still to make their way there. Long holidays in Canada appear to take precedence. They are unlikely, therefore, to be much missed by those residents of that part of Dunbartonshire so honoured.

I suspect that the residents as a community will get through it without getting too upset, distraught or depressed. After all, their motto is Aonaichte, meaning Togetherness.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

NICE young man and his pretty wife decides to leave the family firm and try doing their own thing. Nobody’s business but their own. Good luck to them both.

John Dunlop, Ayr.

SVENGAli did it, Mrs Simpson did it; hang on,you aint seen nothing yet!

Mrs Moira Lang, Oban

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