SURELY I’m not the only one who finds the current situation beyond a joke. The economy of the UK is tanking, inflation is rampant, an increasing number of ordinary people are broke, cold, hungry, begging for food, the elderly are dying prematurely in record numbers, yet we face the pantomime of a Coronation at the public expense.

Essential public services are in tatters and workers who were applauded as “saints” for continuing to expose themselves to risk during the pandemic who are now facing financial hardship are instead pilloried by some parts of the media and the political establishment. However, apparently we can afford to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money to allow a billionaire to flaunt his wealth in a golden carriage.

Why are we doing this? Who is he? We know he is a man who married a “brood mare” to produce offspring while he continued an affair with a married woman, someone who has never done a proper day’s work in his life but because of inherited wealth that, unlike the rest of us, isn’t taxed, is probably the richest man in the country, a man who, as did his mother, can and has interfered with our democratic system to his own personal benefit.

He is a man with the financial resources and political power if not to solve the UK’s perennial poverty problem then certainly to ameliorate it, but hasn’t and wont. He is a man who takes from society rather than giving yet we are expected to and some do look up to him as some super-being to be revered simply because of an accident of birth.

Nonsense. The Emperor is wearing no clothes.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

Ideal choice for head of state

WITH the coming Coronation there has been much discussion about the future of the monarchy, with the familiar calls from some for an elected head of state. I was wondering what sort of requirements might be specified for any person seeking to be elected to this role and I set these out below based on the current roles and duties of the UK Head of State. My conclusion: who better than someone who has been prepared from childhood to do the job, learning from the person currently in post?

So what would be the advantage of changing our system, the history and pageantry of which incidentally attracts much foreign tourist trade which offsets its cost? Surely long preparation plus an inbuilt sense of duty far outweighs aspiration and any desire for status and kudos. That in my view trumps the often-cited democratic deficit.

UK head of state, candidate specification – the person seeking election to the role of Head of State for the UK will need to demonstrate: 1. Broad knowledge of constitutional law and parliamentary procedures.

2. An ability to work effectively across the political spectrum with no political affiliation.

3. A general awareness of current affairs both nationally and internationally 4. Experience of working under close media and public scrutiny.

5. Highly-developed personal communications skills.

6. Excellent diplomatic skills and experience of working with foreign dignitaries.

7. Respect for and understanding of the range of religious beliefs held by the populace.

And remember, you would only be able to vote for someone who has put their name forward and has the funds to mount a campaign. Let's stick with a politically neutral monarchy but modernised and adapted in such a way way that most people would surely be able to support.

Barry Turner, Musselburgh.

Read more:  Where does The Herald stand on the future of the monarchy?

This medieval mumbo-jumbo

CONCERNING the upcoming Coronation, we are told that all those involved over the years have stressed that it is the anointing that is central to what is, after all, a religious service. Furthermore, this part of the service is screened from the King’s subjects. Apparently, the Archbishop of Canterbury takes oil that has been blessed and touches the King – and later the Queen – on the head, palms and breast, as a sign of God’s blessing.

It is hard to believe that educated adults in the 21st century give such poppycock credence. We live in a largely secular society, why is it then that our major daily newspapers will not dare to print criticism of this medieval mumbo-jumbo?

Doug Clark, Currie.

📝 Sign up for our Letter of the Day newsletter and receive our Letters Editor's choice every weekday at 8pm.

Get insight from fellow readers and join in on what has Scotland talking. Exclusive responses to our writers and spirited debate on a whole host of issues will be sent directly to your inbox.

👉 Click here to sign up

Camilla should be Queen Consort

I AM a great supporter of Camilla and think she is and will be a valuable asset to King Charles. However, I think the late Queen was absolutely correct when she expressed her wish that Camilla be known as "Queen Consort". Prince Philip was never addressed as King Philip, nor Albert as King Albert. Queen Consort is the most appropriate title to express Camilla’s role and would not lessen the respect paid or duties asked.

James Watson, Dunbar.

The Cowdenbeath rebellion of 1953

YOU quote the Herald editorial on the day of the last Coronation as saying "And all the people rejoiced” ("How Herald reported on late Queen’s Coronation", The Herald, May 1). Other media reports give the impression that, in June 1953, there was a spontaneous eruption of celebrations throughout the land, giving all the people something to cheer about in the austere aftermath of the Second World War.

My recollection is somewhat different. Much of the celebration was in fact the result of state orchestration or, in some cases, coercion.

I spent my happy childhood in the socialist republic of Cowdenbeath. In preparation for the Coronation, local primary school children were virtually frogmarched up and down the school playgrounds and repeatedly forced to sing British nationalist anthems like “Britannia rules the waves” and “God who made thee mighty make thee mightier yet”. This was supposed to be in rehearsal for a pageant to be held on or around Coronation Day, at Central Park, the home of Cowdenbeath Football Club.

I decided to give the big event a body swerve and, on returning to school, I was arraigned by Mr Wallace, the headmaster, in front of the whole school and told that I was a disgrace to myself, a disgrace to my school and a disgrace to my family, especially as my grandfather was a much-respected Justice of the Peace. To be fair to the headmaster, he did not belt me. I was removed from the school at the age of 10 and kicked upstairs to the High School.

No doubt Mr Wallace rejoiced.

Dennis Canavan, Bannockburn.

🔴 Save on a full year of digital access with our lowest EVER offer.

Subscribe for a whole year to The Herald for only £24 for unlimited website access or £30 for our digital pack.

This is only available for a limited time so don't miss out.

👉 Click here to subscribe

Read more: Stone should not have been allowed to leave Scotland - Alex Salmond

This is not the Stone of Destiny

I WISH you would stop confusing fact and fantasy in the ongoing Harry Potter version of the alleged Stone of Destiny role in the upcoming Westminster Coronation theatricals.

That legendary block of meteoric black basalt, the Lia Fail/Jacob's Pillow, was reputedly brought from the Holy Land, via Ireland, to Iona by St Columba, to crown Aedan macGabrain king of Dalriada in AD 574. It was then moved to Dunadd and Dunstaffnage in Argyll and finally to Scone in Perthshire for Scottish coronations.

That supposedly ended in 1296 when Edward I seized a crude counterfeit for the English throne rituals.The entirely reasonable, and widely accepted, theory is that the monks palmed him off with a lump of Scone sandstone and a tall tale. Indeed, the genuine stone may have been brought out for Robert the Bruce's crowning ceremony 10 years later.

Fast forward to the legendary 1950 Westminster Abbey raid, and it was no surprise that yet another decoy was substituted by stonemason Bertie Gray and accomplices who have held on to the "Scone" stone ever since. The late Rev John MacKay Nimmo freely admitted he'd been privy to the deception and eventually passed it to a group of "guardians" for safekeeping. More than one had an executive role on the old Glasgow Herald and, as a trusted former colleague, I believe it remains in an Argyll location to this day.

Your archives contain much of the above but I cannot account for an early 19th century Glasgow Herald report urging readers to ignore a rival newspaper's report of a mysterious black stone and two inscribed tablets unearthed in an underground fissure by a local Scone laird. It vanished soon after.

As a republican, I would embrace the genuine Stone of Destiny as an important historical artefact. Any other is a mere stone of density.

Gerry Burke, Strachur, Argyll.