Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to you regarding the recent proposal that to mark the Queen’s 70 year reign a commemorative book will be sent to all primary schoolchildren in the UK.
Like most people in the UK, I have a huge amount of respect for the Queen’s long record of public service, but I do not feel this is an appropriate commemoration as the proposals seem to associate the Queen with political events during her reign.
Any controversy over the content of the book and its partial history of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign will risk embroiling her in a political debate of the Government’s making.
As you will be aware, there is a parliamentary protocol – enforced by the Speaker – covering how we discuss the Queen, and the Royal Family more widely, to ensure that Members of Parliament do not drag them into our political debates by assigning views and opinions to them.
At a time when the Department for Education has failed to ensure all schools have adequate ventilation, £12 million would go a long way to improving the situation and providing a bulwark against further spread of Covid-19 as infection rates remain high among young people.
It is very rare for democratic states to send children commemorative books about their Heads of State, and I hope the Government will reconsider this proposal: avoiding political controversy for the monarchy and putting the £12 million of public funds to better use. An alternative and more modern solution might be to make the proposed book an online resource.