Trivial pursuit

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Kirsty MacFarlane (Letters, 3 July) is surely being a bit unreasonable to insist on two numerals for a post-1603 monarch of Great Britain. James ll was in fact the second James to reign over the whole of Britain.

The principle of a single numeral was sensibly adopted thereafter and since 1707 our shared British governments have continued the sequence, based on the better known pre-1603 English monarchs: hence Edwards Vll and Vlll, and of course Elizabeth ll.

It is true that in 1953 some people in Scotland were ungracious enough to complain, on the grounds that the new queen was the second Elizabeth of England only, but it must be recognised that throughout Britain we are all familiar with monarchs such as Williams the Conqueror and Rufus, that unifying monarch Edward l and his namesakes Edwards ll to V, and of course the first Elizabeth.

It could be argued that Scottish monarchs from 1603 back to Kenneth MacAlpin are not officially recognised as having existed, but then, even in the most successful of unions, one cannot expect everything.

One might argue the presence of some disrespect for Scottish history and separate identity, or on the other hand concern with a very trivial matter.

Ronald MacLean

Kiltarlity

By Beauly, Inverness-shire

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