Monarchs and politics

Widely reported public comments by the Queen on 24 January urging tolerance and respect for differing views—thought to have been prompted by Brexit turmoil—led to a misleading report in The Times.

Alistair Lexden responded to it with a letter which was accepted for publication, but did not actually appear in print. While it was pending, an article about prime ministers was published on which the paper’s letters editor asked for comments which were duly provided(see above). The short letter below was then set aside.

Sir, Dr Bob Morris of University College, London believes that no monarch “had intervened on such a political issue” since George V’s conference in 1914 when civil war loomed in Ireland (“Downing Street urged Queen top call for calm, Rees-Mogg claims”, Jan.26). What about George VI’s decision to endorse the controversial Munich agreement in 1938 by inviting Neville Chamberlain to join him on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to acknowledge the cheers of a vast crowd.

Lord Lexden
House of Lords