A Change for Royaly?

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    A Change for Royalty?
    Ministers were negotiating with Commonwealth governments about possible changes to the Act of Settlement to give female Royals the same rights of succession as their brothers. This would break from the traditional standpoint of the ‘principle of primogeniture’ and other various constraints as placed by Act of Settlement 1701.
    Under the current law, any male child takes precedence in the order of succession over his sisters. That would mean that any son born to Prince William would become King, even if he had an older sister. This has called various bodies to reconsider what can be done to ensure that fairness in succession in the Royal family will be achieved.
    The Coalition Government believes that the law is discriminatory which has prompted the Prime Minister David Cameron to action and look at reforming this area of law. Mr Cameron, who states “In the UK, we have found it increasingly difficult to continue to justify the two particular aspects of the present rules on succession of the Crown”.
    In his letter addressing the Commonwealth countries Mr Cameron has stated “We espouse gender equality in all other aspects of life and it is an anomaly that in the rules relating to the highest public office we continue to enshrine male superiority”.
    The other second rule in the Act of Settlement is that no heir to the throne can marry a catholic which in today’s age seems as outrageous and highly discriminative of the mixed society of which the UK shows to embody. This was backed by Mark Harper, the constitutional affairs minister, who said that the Coalition has continued to work to improve all areas of law and bring reform. Mr Harper acknowledges “Ministers have already accepted that the provisions of the Act of Settlement might be discriminatory”. When he was prime minister, Gordon Brown began
    work on amending the Act of Settlement, which also forbids Roman Catholics taking the crown. This Act was originally to remove any chance of a Catholic king or queen being place on the throne, however many have this as a direct discrimination in regards of firstly sex and secondly religion.
    The impact this reform could make if it was considered is the law would need to change in every one of the Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state. This will be talked about in more length when the Prime Minister is planning to start the process when he attends the Commonwealth Summit in Perth later this month.
    Although this a good thing in the terms of the removal of sexism and religious discrimination and can bring the equality to who should sit on the throne of the UK. However this does not apply retrospectively and the changes will not make Princess Ann the next in line for the throne as she should still be considered to be tenth in line for the throne.

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