The royals do lots for charity

It is true that most royals are “patrons” of a string of charities, but very often this is only on paper – their name may appear on the letterhead, but they are not an active ambassador for that cause.

Some royals certainly do help to raise the profile of certain charities they care about, but so do many actors, singers and sportspeople. And what about the millions of ordinary Britons who make donations and give up their free time to volunteer for good causes? They do so without any of the glory - or luxury trappings – that the royals receive.

It's also worth noting that when a member of the royal family visits a charity, it can cost taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds – often vastly exceeding any increase in donations. The royals gain more in PR than the charities do in support.

But, as with the tourism argument, the amount of charity work the royals do or don't do has no bearing on the question of whether we should have a monarchy. And of course, the Windsors would be free to continue their charitable activities as free citizens in a republic.