28 DECEMBER 2002, Page 28

Cowardly Constantine

From Mr Michael Coultas Sir: Taki (High life, 14/21 December) is mistaken in his belief that ex-King Constantine was 'first to rise up' against the 1967 colonels. The young king, scared for himself and his family, signed every act of the illegal regime. It is the supreme duty of a constitutional monarch to counter such a usurpation; it is indeed almost the only value such a monarch has, and Constantine flunked it. By his cowardice he forfeited the right to his throne and, I would say, the right to be Greek. Constantine is widely regarded in Greece as a humane and decent man, and I do not support the attitude of the present Greek government towards his legally purchased ancestral properties. But having deserted his duty to the nation in a time of great crisis, he does not deserve much sympathy.

Michael Coultas

Matlock, Derbyshire