13 SEPTEMBER 1997, Page 31

Sir: Allow me to express my appreciation, indeed my admiration,

for Mr Roberts's article (`The Princess and the Royal Stan- dard', 6 September). After days of a crescendo of mass hysteria, in which people have given vent to the most extravagant manifestations of grief and anger, and after an implacable, utterly degraded press has not hesitated to exploit the Princess's tragic death to launch a shocking and, I believe, unprecedented attack in the most appalling terms against the royal family, particularly targeting H.M. the Queen and the very monarchic institutions, how soothing, how gratifying it is to see that sense, soundness of judgment and decency of feelings have not gone out of this world altogether and that the supporters of the monarchy are ral- lying in its defence.

There were indeed several good articles that 'put things in perspective' in the last issue of The Spectator, but Mr Roberts voic- es to such a degree my own feelings about the dangers of Scandinavianisation of the British monarchy, the royal status as a fac- tor of capital importance for the late Princess of Wales to achieve her popularity and further so many deserving causes not at all an immaterial point to any fair- minded individual — and the expediency, indeed the necessity, to terminate at last this spurious relationship between monar- chy and media, that I thought I had almost found (and this is said without any inten- tion to offend Mr Roberts) a twin soul.

Paolo Ferrante

12 Philbeach Gardens, London SW5