Dear Queen Elizabeth – when leading means letting go

Picture of Queen Elizabeth in open carriage in London. Credit: Mark-de-jong at

Her Majesty The Queen
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA 

Your Majesty

It’s been a long time since I last wrote. From memory, I wrote several decades ago after the news broke regarding the Ethiopian famine. Much has happened since then and I am sorry you are currently embroiled in the discussions concerning your grandson and his family – it must be quite distressing for you and I hope all is resolved amicably. It is extremely hard to see your loved ones leave the country to make a better life, particularly when the decision has so obviously been driven by the dreadful behaviour of the UK media.

The reason for this letter is to suggest that the time has come for the sixteen countries that recognise you as head of state become republics. After you were lied to by your Prime Minister last year and the subsequent election returned the same Prime Minister to power, I felt – along with many others – that it was time for all Commonwealth countries to become truly independent nations. This position does not reflect on you or the consistently hard work you have undertaken throughout your life. Rather it reflects on the current values and principles displayed by your UK government.

People from Commonwealth countries have been treated badly by your governments – most recently those victims of the Windrush scandal. Others who have called the UK their home for many years find themselves faced with exile, often to countries with which they have no connection. Your government appears unmoved and impervious to the poverty, hardship and discrimination faced by so many of your ‘subjects’. The values and principles to which your current government adheres seem at odds with those you have seemingly lived by in your decades as Queen. They are values that do not align with countries such as my own, New Zealand, which has its focus on the well-being of its citizens, reducing poverty and building cordial, productive relationships with the rest of the world – a marked contrast to the aggressive, divisive and antagonistic approach on view at Westminster.

The neatest way to accomplish the transition would be to give notice to all sixteen countries that when the Prince of Wales takes the throne, he will become King of the United Kingdom only with all other countries becoming republics that retain membership of the Commonwealth should they so wish.

It is a hard thing to let go but change of this nature is a good thing that will be of benefit to the countries involved, allow true democratic freedom yet through the Commonwealth allow good relationships to continue.

I hope that your grandson’s bid to ‘go solo’ is successful and that family bonds are strengthened and maintained in the process. I hope too that separation from anachronistic sovereignty can begin in earnest and, in reaching maturity, many countries can begin to truly pave their own way as republics.

My very best wishes to you and your family

cc. Prince of Wales

Clarence House, London, SW1A 1BA

Catherine Arrow