The true meaning of the imperial state crown | Brief letters

Emperor Henry VIII | Chilling debate | Biden bins the bus | Wiggle v wriggle | Malevolent wally

The “imperial state crown” has little to do with the British empire (Elizabeth bound our nation. Without her, will there even be a UK to reign over?, 19 September). The “imperial” refers to the arches over the crown, which make it that of an emperor rather than a monarch. Such a crown was used by Henry VIII – who declared his realm an empire during the Reformation to stress its complete independence from the pope – and also by Elizabeth I, as can be seen in the Armada Portraits. Both predated the British empire by centuries.
Jane Card
Harwell, Oxfordshire

• Mavis Zutshi asks whether debates on the monarchy would be permitted in schools today, as they were at hers in the 1960s (Letters, 19 September). The day after the Queen’s death, we were explicitly forbidden as teachers in my secondary school to permit students such debates, even if they requested them. The Department for Education’s chilling policy was cited.
Name and address supplied

• I have often wondered what the often cited though rarely defined term “western rules-based system” actually means. At least now we all know: America takes a limousine while the rest of the world takes the bus (Joe Biden forced to wait for seat after apparent late arrival at Queen’s funeral, 19 September)
Macdara Ó Drisceoil
Lilongwe, Malawi

• There is a regrettable modern tendency for “wiggle” to replace “wriggle”, in, for example, such phrases as “wiggle room” (Quick crossword, 21 September). People wriggle to accommodate themselves. They don’t wiggle.
Ken Vines
Horrabridge, Devon

Thank you to Stephen Collins (17 September). The phrase “We have somehow become trapped inside the daydream of a malevolent wally” perfectly captures my feelings about the government, which I’d only been able to put into words as “Aaaaargh!”.
Rob Hare
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

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