If the Queen doesn’t write her own speech and is no longer able to read it (Report, 9 May), isn’t it time to stop the charade and call things by their accurate names? The prime minister disguises his autocratic powers under the royal prerogative. If it’s his speech, let’s say so and stop pretending the monarch has anything to do with it. We must sever the monarchy from the political system: a democratic imperative that is centuries overdue.
• Xenotransplantation “is a real killer”, says your correspondent (Letters, 8 May). A bovine mitral valve transplant gave my mother another 12 years of playing a full and active role in her community, and I find it offensive that Peta would call this a “vanity project”.
• It feels intuitively true that a semi-circular parliamentary chamber might lead to less confrontational debate (Letters, 9 May), until you remember that both houses of the US Congress occupy such chambers. Possibly, we need to elect fewer confrontational politicians.
• Examining my homemade wedding dress, my mother-in-law handed it back to me and said: “I’d buy the next one if I were you” (Letters, 8 May).
• In response to Adrian Chiles (I thought it was weird to have a favourite spoon. Then I realised I wasn’t alone ..., 4 May), we have a special teaspoon for our daily dose of cod liver oil.
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