Letters: Harry and Meghan’s sour grapes do a public injustice to dutiful members of the Royal family

Letters to the Editor
·9-min read
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their Oprah Winfrey interview - CBS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their Oprah Winfrey interview - CBS

SIR – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to lead a “private” life and should do so without inflicting their sour grapes upon us.

It isn’t fair, either, on the members of the Royal family who carry out their duties with such unstinting devotion.

Niki Talbot
Saint-Jean-du-Gard, Gard, France

SIR – The Sussexes, on their departure from the Royal family, said that part of their focus would be on helping others.

I fail to see how this interview with Oprah Winfrey is helping anyone else. All it will do is upset the Queen and irritate the British public, who had welcomed the Duchess in the beginning.

Hannah Hunt
Wendover, Buckinghamshire

SIR – Revelations reveal; accusations accuse – a very important distinction.

Christopher Timbrell
Kington Langley, Wiltshire

SIR – One sad repercussion from the Oprah Winfrey interview is the long-term effect on the Sussexes’ children. Meghan came from a broken family, but in attacking Harry’s family she has prevented Archie and his sibling having the affinity that Harry had with his cousins and wider family.

Harry describes his father and brother as “trapped”. He seems to be confusing this with them carrying out the duties that are expected of them. It was clear from seeing the wider Royal family at the Commonwealth Day programme that they take on those duties cheerfully and responsibly – something that the Sussex children, thanks to their parents, will never have the opportunity of experiencing.

Barry Gibbs
Wimborne, Dorset

SIR – She’s an actress, darling!

Jane Campbell
Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire

SIR – Poor little me!

Sheena Lane
Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire

SIR – If, as the Duchess claimed, the couple were already married when we watched the showcase performance, may we have a £32 million refund?

Christine Stewart-Munro
London SW1

Watch: Meghan Markle's Oprah interview outfit - All the hidden meanings you may have missed

SIR – As far as we can tell, there is a good person inside the Prince. His love and affection for the Armed Forces seem entirely genuine. If he were to spend the rest of his life in the parallel universe of celebrity culture, that would be the real tragedy in this affair.

Dermot Flaherty
Southampton, Hampshire

SIR – I feel sorry for Prince Harry, who has been dragged away from family, friends and Service associations, all the things he holds dear.

I can foresee that his wife and children will not set foot in Britain again, on the grounds that she won’t feel safe. I think we can see where this is going.

Richard Hodgkinson
Thames Ditton, Surrey

SIR – Certain women entering the Royal family, never men, are vilified by the press and establishment. Think of the Princess of Wales (very young), the Duchess of York (red hair), Princess Michael of Kent (“foreign” and a divorcée) and now Meghan (American, divorcée and beautiful mixed race). Were they too strong to be willingly manipulated by the courtiers who run the monarchy?

Let’s have some kindness, please.

Heather Thomson
Huntingdon

SIR – Thank God she didn’t marry William.

Guy Appleby
Alnwick, Northumberland

SIR – Meghan Markle, complaining of the interview on her engagement, said that Mishal Husain “wasn’t warm enough”. If the Duchess felt herself a fish out of water in the royal sea, I can’t help thinking she would be a carp.

Christopher Learmont-Hughes
Caldy, Wirral

Watch: Piers Morgan walks off Good Morning Britain following heated discussion with Alex Beresford over Harry and Meghan interview

Scholars at the V&A

SIR – The financial crisis facing our museums and libraries is indeed grave. However, Tristram Hunt’s claim that the National Art Library remains “fundamental” to the V&A (Letters, March 6) is open to question.

He fails to mention that current proposals are for the library to remain closed for a further year. When its doors do unlock, he plans to “open it up to new audiences”. The National Art Library is already open to everyone, and is free, so who are these audiences? “Dedicated access” to scholars surely translates as “restricted access”.

The British Library, the Bodleian and the National Archives, like the V&A, do wonderful work in education and community outreach, activities that also bring in much-needed revenue. However, they do not compromise their remit as centres of research excellence.

The National Art Library does what it says on the tin. It is the country’s greatest art library, which is why it attracts historians of art, design, theatre, fashion and textiles from across the globe. The V&A has a vital role in continuing to bring these international scholars to London. The research done in libraries such as the National Art Library may not hit the headlines but it matters. Scholarship matters.

The real danger we now face is not the financial one, which will resolve over time. Museums have a dual purpose: as visitor attractions, and as repositories of knowledge and centres for learning. If these competing needs become unbalanced in favour of the first, the outcome will be irreversible.

Diana Davis
London W4

Independence delay

SIR – Does anyone still believe that all our freedoms will be returned to us on June 21?

Frank Yates
Southport, Lancashire

Muddy spuds

SIR – Tesco is to start selling muddy potatoes. No doubt, due to the Northern Ireland Protocol, this will not happen in the province.

George Kelly
Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire

SIR – My solution to supermarket-washed potatoes is to transfer them from plastic bags to a recycled paper sack in my garage. They last for weeks.

Derek Hopper
Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire

The ink man meddleth

SIR – A few years ago I bought an HP printer and took up the offer of paying monthly for printer ink. My Wi-Fi told HP how many pages I printed and the ink levels.

I received two emails from HP on February 21, one telling me that they had taken their monthly fee, the other telling me that my credit card had expired. In fact it was dated until the end of the month. Next day when I came to use my printer it failed to work. I eventually realised that HP had sent a signal to block my printer.

Is it legal to “enter my house” and meddle with my equipment?

Stephen Rutherford
Epsom, Surrey

Churches kept closed

SIR – The Bishop of Leicester and the public health director have no authority to request the closure of the churches in Sileby, Cossington and Seagrave (Letters, March 3). That is a decision for the rector and PCC.

Financial pressures are surely made worse by keeping church buildings closed. No wonder the rector does not know how many will return.

Privatising the central part of a church’s existence, Holy Communion, so that the only recipients are clergy in their vicarages is a cause of dismay. In many parts of England the Reformation has been cancelled, as lay people can no longer receive Communion on a Sunday.

Dr Penelope Upton
Lighthorne, Warwickshire

Back to BBC Three

SIR – What wonderful news that BBC Three is returning. Does this mean that it will reclaim the rubbish currently shown on BBC One?

M J Wright
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Herding instinct

SIR – My maiden name was Oxley, and when I was growing up a family called Cow moved in next door.

A few years later we moved, and at the end of our close we made friends with the Bullocks. Ten years on and we moved house again and the Bull family became our good friends. A while ago, when attending a funeral, a fellow mourner introduced himself as Heffer. We, of course, always read Simon Heffer’s Hinterland column in the Review section of The Daily Telegraph.

Janet Longhurst
Crawley Down, West Sussex

How the saxophone killed off traditional jazz

The 100 Club in the Sixties: Humphrey Lyttelton, left, and Tony Coe. Photo by John Deakin - bridgeman
The 100 Club in the Sixties: Humphrey Lyttelton, left, and Tony Coe. Photo by John Deakin - bridgeman

SIR – As someone who has tried to play jazz trombone for more than 50 years (with mixed fortunes), I was interested in the obituary and subsequent article on Chris Barber.

Although it is true that, by the end of the Fifties, trad jazz as played by Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball was losing its appeal, it was not the rise of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones that put the nail in the coffin.

It was, paradoxically, Humphrey Lyttelton. Humph introduced a three-sax front line of Tony Coe (alto), Jimmy Skidmore (tenor), and Joe Temperley (baritone), which outraged fans of trad, to whom the saxophone was anathema.

After this, “mainstream” jazz was born and trad bands like those in which Alex Welsh and Mike Daniels played struggled for audiences.

Martin Henry
Good Easter, Essex

SIR – I was surprised that Ivan Hewett chose Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore to show that jazz’s influence lasted until the Sixties. Like What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, Stranger on the Shore, though an excellent tune, lacks any kind of improvisation, essential to jazz.

A better choice would have been Bilk’s recording of Buona Sera, a Top 10 hit in 1960, which starts off sounding like a straightforward pop song, but soon develops into a glorious, Dixieland-style romp.

Patrick Miller
Hartlepool, Co Durham

The gloves are off when we use fossil phrases

SIR – How many people today actually put gloves in the glove compartment in their cars (Letters, March 6)?

Veronica Bliss
Compton, Hampshire

SIR – We still “do the hoovering”, even with a Dyson.

Andrew Grey
Kingswood, Surrey

SIR – Why does the Radio Times still goes by this name, when for years virtually all of its listings have been for television programmes?

Mary Sutherland
London SE10

SIR – When I taught in a language school, a Swiss student said he had proof of a strange order of priorities in Britain: a bus conductor calling out “Animals first”. He had to be convinced he’d misheard “Any more fares”.

Rod Williams
London SE4

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Watch: Society of Editors boss in heated row over 'racist' Meghan headlines