I HAD thought the Crown was intended to embody leadership and power. The Coronation ceremony portrayed the new King as passive and vulnerable. He sat while Archbishops and flunkies repeatedly disrobed and robed him; while various heavy gold, bejewelled relics were presented or strapped on to his belt, then removed.

King Charles III looked mostly weary and miserable. He shuffled tentatively even when not wearing the heavy crown. This was more strange given he had been pictured cheerful and relatively vigorous the previous day.

Britain missed a great opportunity following the Queen's death to slim down the Monarchy. King Charles, so clearly now past his prime, could have stepped aside for William. William could have gone forward as a lower-key alternative to a political president. Instead, they limp on, dragging the anachronistic ermine and untold wealth, inaccessible of course to the many who could use it.

Lyn McLean, Falkirk.

No comparison with the US

I DISAGREE with Michael Sheridan (Letters, May 8) on an elected head of state. Lots of countries have them in largely ceremonial roles with little controversy.

The situation in the United States is exacerbated by the conduct of one man, the shabby suborning of the Republican Party and an increasingly partisan Supreme Court. The British Monarchy, with some in the aristocracy, some Tory politicians and some media owners in the UK, flirted with the Hitler regime not so long ago. The present King we are assured was anointed by God as head of the Church of England and upholder of the Protestant faith, banning any Catholic from ascending the throne and the conduct of the British state during a famine in Ireland and western Scotland explains the chanting of some fans.

Nor is the hereditary head of state “apolitical” as was shown by the previous monarch’s repeated interventions in Scotland’s politics, the nature of which did not threaten the Union of the Crowns, but might now do so.

King Charles when faced with republican sentiment in many Commonwealth countries told their leaders that it was for each country to decide, and dropping the monarchy would be “without rancour”. It is evident that Scotland could only decide to drop the Royals as a self-governing state, as the Anglo-British veto would be once again deployed. Liberal democracy in a country where protesting is now an offence (even before the protest can occur)?

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

• MICHAEL Sheridan writes that a hereditary head of state is somehow a "linchpin of democracy", bizarrely contrasting the UK's "apolitical" head of state with the January 6 Capitol attacks in the US. This is a lazy false dichotomy, and Mr Sheridan perhaps should look beyond the Anglo-American world and realise that these are not the only two models that exist.

A system such as that used in, for example, Italy, Germany or Austria is not only possible but preferable to both alternatives.

Declan Blench, Glasgow.

📝 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

Where stands the SNP now?

I CONCLUDE from Lesley Riddoch’s article (“I boycotted Coronation for sake of independence”, The Herald, May 8) that she believes that the Yes movement is generally in favour of an independent Scotland being a republic. Former First Minister Alex Salmond said that an independent Scotland would remain in the Commonwealth with the Monarch as head. Likewise former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that an independent Scotland would retain the Monarch as head of state. On the other hand the current First Minister, Humza Yousaf, declares himself to be a Republican.

Is it time for the SNP to state, or perhaps restate, its current policy in relation to this matter?

David SW Williamson, Kelso.

Time for a history lesson

I PACKED up history at school because it involved learning lots of dates, mainly for England, and other subjects were more useful. This has backfired a bit, because most televised quizzes comprise history questions mainly relating to England. However I do reject Naga Munchetti's claim that Westminster Abbey was the site of British monarchs' coronations since in 1066. Not only was Edward not English (he was the last foreigner to kill an English king), there was no Britain as we now know it, and the Scots still had their own coronations elsewhere.

I also remember that the Church of England only came in to being because an English king wanted a divorce which the then Pope denied. (This Coronation looked remarkably like a Roman Catholic ceremony.) How is the whole of Britain presented with ceremonials based on a religion of questionable birth?

Anyway, despite all the expensive pomp at a time of wars, poverty, inflation and climate change-affected weather, the one general consensus appears to be a preference for a neutral family with historical links to open official events and the like provided that the family in question does not keep expanding at our expense.

We should also be thankful that the BBC managed a whole weekend without mentioning 1966.

JB Drummond, Kilmarnock.

Read more: Be grateful we have the monarchy as the linchpin to our democracy

It was such an embarrassment

I DID not watch the Coronation out of respect for those who are struggling more than ever before trying to deal with the cost of living. However, I did manage to find a humorous side to all of it.

In the later news bulletin when our new King and Queen made their balcony appearance I could not help being reminded of the royal couple in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The similarity was so close.

Then, to top that, Princess Anne sneaked in behind them. For a woman who has never served in any of the armed forces does her military outfit perhaps give a hint of Napoleonic aspirations?

The whole eye-wateringly expensive occasion which took place without any consultation with those who paid for it to me was an embarrassment and a slap in the face to the increasingly-large amount of the King's "subjects" who are living well below the breadline.

Tina Oakes, Stonehaven.

A matter of inclusivity

I REGRET to note that Stephen Brennan and family were offended by the repeated use of "Protestant" in the Coronation service (Letters, May 8). Ironically Mr Brannan resorts to insulting language (by using "drivel" and "debasing") in expressing his disgust.

Conversely I was surprised that Britain's senior Catholic clergyman did not feature more prominently. Now that would have restored inclusivity to proceedings.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.

What price impartiality?

MY only option over the weekend in order to avoid coverage of an event that would have been silly if it didn't crush that term with the outrageous public cost was to turn off all media. This included BBC radio.

Is this really what stands for impartiality in 21st-century Britain?

Amanda Baker, Edinburgh.

Royal custom is now toast

LEAVING before, or, even worse, during the rendition of the National Anthem, might have been an option at one time (Letters, May 5, 6 & 8). However, at functions, there would be many who anxiously awaited the clearing of dessert plates, and the hurried proposal of the Loyal Toast, as nervous hands reached for slim cigarette cases and that desperately-needed inhalation.

Since the introduction of the ban on smoking indoors, it would seem that proposing the Loyal Toast has slipped out of fashion. No offence, I am sure, your Majesty.

Malcolm Allan, Bishopbriggs.

Plenty options for a coalition

IN the aftermath of the English council elections, many commentators have noticed that while the Conservatives may have lost a lot of seats, Labour’s gain was a lot more muted. From this, people have deduced that perhaps it is not set for a General Election win after all, and maybe we will be into hung parliament territory again.

Predictably in Scotland, that has started the discussion around Labour/SNP coalitions, and the tedious analysis we always see around this. However, the English council elections also suggest that the LibDems may well make a significant comeback, and at a UK level, they certainly have the potential to quickly overtake the SNP in numbers of seats, especially if the latter are going backwards, which now seems inevitable. The LibDems’ sister party in Northern Ireland, the Alliance Party, is also likely to pick up a few seats, and Labour’s sister party the SDLP will pick up a few as well.

So, if a coalition is required, there are all sorts of ways of getting the numbers, and the SNP is not the only show in town. Indeed, Labour will look on all the others as preferable, as in addition to the known problems with associating yourself with the nationalists, there are now the unknown risks of what might be thrown up as well, which might potentially pull down a future government.

The numbers don’t add up for the SNP, in all sorts of ways.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy.