ANDREW Learmonth (Meghxit sparks call for reform of the royal family, January 10) reminds us that Harry and Meghan are also Earl and Countess of Dumbarton, titles recently added by Her Majesty. No doubt the good people of Dumbarton will be vexed that their imposed aristocratic namesakes will be stepping back, or perhaps relieved that the pretence will soon be over.

It has become knowledge recently that Prince Andrew is also Earl Inverness, and there is another Windsor entitled recently as Earl of Forfar! Ruritania has certainly mushroomed in recent years in the UK. No doubt it may give the people of these areas a wee thrill to have their own “royal” attention, but for what?

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According to the tabloid press down south, Harry and Meghan should now be stripped of all titles. Now the illusion bubble has been broken. Madame Tussauds have taken the lead and simply removed the wax models of Meghan and Harry from the royal grouping on display, a sign of more drastic things to come. It is a strange way of being air-brushed out of existence for being naughty!

The TV series The Crown will be in a fix as to how to portray this happening. In fact, is the monarchy now just a real version of this TV kitchen-sink kitsch? As this royal melodrama continues, how much more irrelevance are we to be bombarded with from the tabloids?

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Are royal patronages really necessary? As the term is cognate with patronising, it is ultimately condescending to assume that we, the people, cannot exist or function unless there is a royal name tag added.

The “construct” of a royal family consisting of three generations to be rolled out on balconies surrounded by mystique, and acting out quaint arcane practices and traditions created by themselves, raises a smile among independent-minded individuals. When one hears, for example, that royal ladies must also keep their chins parallel to the steps when descending from an aeroplane so as not to look down, surely the “mystique” has become regally dysfunctional.

Harry and Meghan have just underscored the long-held view that the monarchy and its “duties” are simply irrelevant. Yet, by setting up their own “franchise” they will ironically be trading on their royal links, personage and names. Weird outcome indeed from the scion of a weird family!

John Edgar

THANKS to Andrew Learmonth for using the correct titles for Prince Henry and his wife as the “Earl and Countess of Dumbarton” and also mentioning the “Duke of Rothesay”.

Too often newspapers specifically published for Scotland use English titles for the royals and the broadcast media is no better, with Radio Scotland one of the worst offenders. It’s disrespectful to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland when TV and radio news bulletins don’t use their correct titles. Several times I’ve complained to Radio Scotland but only very occasionally have they corrected it.

Perhaps The National could print an article listing all the various titles awarded to members of this highly unusual family. All Scots and others resident in Scotland should refuse to participate in conversations about them unless the correct titles are used. There should also be a debate why, even if their correct titles were always used in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it’s universally accepted that the English titles are applied globally.

Roddy MacNeill
East Kilbride

THIS royal family hiccup has been anticipated for years, since events of ‘97 in fact. When your family is focussed around your big brother’s grandmother, followed by your big brother’s father, followed by your big brother then followed by your big brother’s son, why would you not want to split, follow your interests and do your own thing?

Tom Gray

I COMPLETELY agree with Andrew Wilson that we have a huge role to play in terms of promoting independence and persuading those not yet on board (Three big rules to win and win big: discipline, truth, understanding, January 9).

One of the problems I see on social media is a tendency for people to push their points in a very abrupt, absolutist and off-putting way. If it riles me even when I am in total agreement, how can it could possibly encourage the undecided?

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Many folk I know put the case over much more persuasively in person. It is not something confined to any particular party or movement. It has been particularly prevalent in internal communication in larger organisations I have worked for.

All I suggest is tempering a view by throwing in the occasional “I think” or “it’s my view” rather than make it seem that your position is absolute gospel. We should all be open to persuasion no matter our views.

It is just a small thing, but I reckon we should ensure our argument is not simply intelligent and clear, but also encouraging and welcoming. After all, we are talking about trying to change minds. We should show our own openness in the way we go about it.

Kevin Dyson