WE learn from Denis Bruce (Letters, February 7) that it has "startled so many that King Charles has developed cancer". Startled? Really? He's a man. Men get cancer. Get over it.

Mr Bruce refers twice to "a wave of emotion sweeping through the nation", without specifying which emotion or which nation. He clearly inhabits a mindset populated by myths of princes and princesses, kings and queens, which "enrich the nation" and bring a sparkle to our dismal and mundane ordinary lives. This infantilising narrative is the one that pervades all anti-republican thinking and is well exemplified by Mr Bruce's tale of "pomp and pageantry" and "golden threads of continuity".

Let's have some common sense about the realities here: why go on kow-towing to a psychologically dysfunctional family, landed in their many golden palaces by an accident of birth? The only "wave of emotion" I have detected, in contrast to Mr Bruce, is the salivating social media tittle-tattle and excitement around the likely machinations of Harry, the spare one, in relation to it all.

I wish King Charles well, as I would anyone with cancer. But as for all the monarchist mince, spare us.

Dr Angus Macmillan, Dumfries.

Read more: Now we know how important the monarchy is to the nation

Incompatible with true democracy

IT would be interesting to see what research Denis Bruce made before making his sweeping statements. As far as I can see, despite King Charles’s diagnosis Scotland carried on as per usual yesterday without incident and I can guarantee him that few republicans I know “found themselves caught up in the pain of the moment”, especially those on long waiting lists for the diagnosis and treatment of malignancies.

The overwhelming majority of the population will never even catch sight of a “royal” and their existence has no relevance to us other than being a financial drain and the linchpin that holds together the archaic social pyramid that works to the disadvantage of the overwhelming majority of Scots. To suggest they boost tourism is not backed by data as neighbouring countries such as France perform better in that sector. The family that he would bend the knee to isn’t even British but German who changed their name to avoid the embarrassment of fighting against their native land in 1914. The concept that a simple accident of birth somehow elevates an individual to a level where they deserve to be revered and worshipped should have gone out the window along with believing in Santa Claus.

The existence of a monarchy is incompatible with true democracy as our UK Government is His Majesty’s Government not the People’s Government. The overwhelming majority of countries throughout the globe manage to function perfectly well without a monarchy, as would we in the same situation.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

• OF course we are sad to hear that King Charles has a cancer diagnosis and we can pray for his full recovery, but “a wave of emotion sweeping across the nation” is over the top.

I personally am grateful the King will not have to depend on the NHS his Government - and those of the other nations across the Uk - have bequeathed to us. And I am sure his doctor will not be striking when treatment is due. Pity the rest of us.

As for the monarchy: if King Charles wanted to be a Catholic like me, he would be out on his ear, and the same goes for the next generation. What harm a system in which we could all have a part?

But the King and his family have my prayers.

Matt McManus, Saltcoats.

Read more: We know about the A9, but when will they do something about the A1?

No Prots here, please

DOUG Clark’s letter (February 6) regarding specific documentation of Christian denominational allegiance on admission to hospital in former times, reminded me of instruction regarding this on my first ward when training to be a nurse in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1969.

The formidable ward sister sternly told us that in recording the religion of the patient that we were to know she wasn’t having any "Prots" in her ward. By stating this, she didn’t mean that she was anti-Protestant, but that we were not to use abbreviations, as we were to be specific to detail which flock the Protestant we were admitting may belong to among the many denominations. This was so that appropriate clergy could be directed to the correct patients.

Back in the day clergy could wonder around hospital wards and inquire of the patients that were of their denomination. No data protection in those days. Or protection for nurses who dared to disobey the formidable ward sisters by slapdash recording of patient details.

Irene Munro, Conon Bridge.

The Herald: A view down Edinburgh's Princes StreetA view down Edinburgh's Princes Street (Image: PA)

Fond memories of Princes Street

I WAS travelling across Edinburgh on a bus recently, heading down North Bridge towards Leith, when the outline of the Princes Street buildings opened up in front of me. I found myself thinking about the large stores my mother took me to back in the 1960s which are no longer there.

At the east end we had Woolworths, then in the next two blocks Forsyth’s and Jenners. We then had C&A, British Home Stores, Littlewoods, Smalls, and at the West End, Binns (later to become Frasers). On the North and South Bridge there were Patrick Thomsons, Grants, and Arnotts; and just beyond that, the extensive SCWS store at Surgeon’s Hall. In the 1970s we even had large John Menzies and WH Smith stores next door to one another on Princes Street.

We now have a very modern shopping mall at the top of Leith Street and out-of-town shopping centres dotted around the city. And of course, we now capitalise on the convenience of online shopping, which unfortunately has had such a devastating effect on retail. But no matter how much things change, I’ll always have a fond and precious memory of weaving in and out of these busy shops on a crowded Saturday afternoon.

Brian Watt, Edinburgh.

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Cut back garden bin collections

IT is good to note David Miller's natural wit surface once again (Letters, February 7). It does seem the brown bin charge is regarded as a good little earner by our respective councils. Solution? Perhaps a rethink as to whether garden rubbish collections require a 52-week collection sequence. Surely there is an extended fallow period over October-March of garden waste?

Such cutback would "mower or less" answer Mr Miller's quandary with his " trouble and strife".

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.