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Susan Munroe

Modernizing Royal Succession Laws

By October 31, 2011

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At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last week, the 16 leaders of realms that have Queen Elizabeth as their head of state agreed that the Royal succession laws should be changed to let the first-born, whether male or female, inherit the throne. The current rules of succession to the British throne, which are set out in the Act of Settlement (1701), would not let a woman inherit the throne if she had any younger brothers. The leaders also agreed to changing the rule that bans the king or queen from marrying a Catholic, and to remove the requirement that the monarch's descendants get the monarch's permission to marry.

The timing of the changes is not clear, but there seems to be a push on them with the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


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