Sir: Abigail Rayner's assertion that "British hostility towards the Germans goes back a long way" (Section Two, 19 June) is, not to put too fine a point on it, utter tosh.
Anti-German sentiment dates, quite precisely, from the First World War and propaganda reports, mostly fictitious, which presented Germans as a brutal and savage enemy. It was at this time and for this reason that our almost entirely German Royals changed their family name from "Saxe- Coburg und Gotha" to "Windsor".
Queen Matilda may have been unpopular, but then most foreign royal marriage partners were always unpopular whatever their national origins. Prince Albert was no more unpopular than any other foreign royal and more popular than most. Until Queen Victoria came to the throne a large part of Germany - Hanover - was intimately linked with Britain through a common monarchy and ceased then only because the Elector of Hanover had to be male.
Throughout the 19th century the Germans were popularly referred to as our cousins, much as we talk of the Americans today. …