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The Success Of the Windsors In Trying Times

The editorial "Royal (Mis)Behavior," Nov. 29, inaccurately states that "the 20th-century Windsors haven't done so well."

King Edward VII, despite his numerous scandals as Prince of Wales, proved to be a competent and well-beloved sovereign during a time of great transition for both the monarchy and the British Empire. He demonstrated that one can reverse a sullied past and meet one's responsibilities.

His successors - George V, George VI, and Elizabeth II - endured two world wars, the abdication, the challenges of a declining empire, and the widespread breakdown of the traditional family; yet they were and, in the case of Queen Elizabeth II, are popular and respected world figures. They are credited with buoying their country's spirit in times of great difficulty.

I fail to see how making the first child, rather than the first son, heir to the throne will help the "monarchy to survive," since the present and future heirs are first-borns.

The British people, through such instruments as the Bill of Rights (1688) and the Act of Settlement (1701), in effect determine that whoever sits on the British throne is not there because of heredity, but by the will of the British people, expressed through Parliament.

Where monarchies exist, they exist because it is the people's will; the royals' problems are only mirror images of the challenges facing their subjects.

John J. Noffo

Newport, R.I.

Scrambled bridges

Regarding the front-page article "It's a Small World, After All, for US-Style Theme Parks," Nov. 15: I feel I should call your attention to what I understand is a not uncommon error.

The picture of a miniature bridge in a theme park near London is referred to in the caption as "a tiny London Bridge." A few years ago London Bridge was bought by an American entrepreneur, disassembled, and transported to Lake Havasu City, Ariz. It was reassembled as the centerpiece of a very popular tourist attraction.

I have never been to England, but I have been to Lake Havasu City, and the bridge I saw there in no way resembles the one shown in the photo.

That is the Tower Bridge, which is often confused with London Bridge.

Fairfax, Va.

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