NEIL Mackay writes "I believe in the abolition of the monarchy" (no ambiguity there, then) and when the Queen dies, "we might realise that this sick, symbiotic relationship can no longer go on ("The sick truth about Britain’s love affair with the royals", the Herald, January 15). I concur with the sentiments of the first statement. With regard to the second statement, I hope that he is right, but I doubt it.

The House of Windsor has lasted while those in countries like Austria, Germany and Russia have come to an end in various ways. Our version of monarchy has managed to survive at times, one would have thought, against the odds. It can only be disposed of by one of two means – revolutionary action or legislative steps by Parliament. The stomach for either of these measures does not exist at present and is unlikely to come into existence in the foreseeable future. Active efforts have been made to improve the image of the next incumbent, Prince Charles, after his difficult marriage to Diana and her eventual death. He has produced what appears to be an appropriate heir and he has married his mistress.

The ongoing trials and tribulations of Prince Andrew and Prince Harry will not cause terminal damage.

Karl Marx once observed: "One man is king only because other men stand in the relation of subjects to him. They, on the other hand, imagine that they are subjects because he is king." For as long as the majority of the British people, either through express wish or disinterest, continue to be prepared to live their lives as subjects under a monarchy, the future of the House of Windsor looks secure and the republican movement will continue to remain a minority interest and viewed as somewhat eccentric.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

AN excellent article by Neil Mackay. The royals are a total waste of money. As to the Queen, she seems to have allowed herself to become the proverbial bird in a golden cage. Why does she not retire, like the Dutch monarchs, and give her ageing son a crack?

The cringe-like approach of the English media (including the BBC) makes it worse, of course. A bit of honesty as regards royal finances would be useful, too; not just cost of security arrangements but also the cost of depriving the community at large of the availability of police protection.

There is only need for one salary, for the head of state, not for this extended and long-lived family. Taxes should be paid in full – no hidden investments. As to Harry and Meghan: let them live their lives as they please. I and other taxpayers have been supporting them long enough. If they cannot live very well on the rumoured joint wealth of £35 million, there is something seriously wrong with them.

You will never change the servile voters in the south-east of England, though. I think we should go for something like Ireland's republican model in an independent Scotland. This has currently produced an inoffensive and apolitical poet. A well-produced Scottish constitution should be able to build in (as an unalterable feature) arrangements for fully democratic presidents with time-limited terms of office.

Andrew McCrae, Gourock.