Reform in Royal Succession Allows for Gender Equality
In a step toward gender equality, leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries of the United Kingdom who gathered at a Commonwealth of Nations summit approved changes made to the royal succession laws of the United Kingdom that give first-born daughters precedence over younger brothers when crowning a future monarch. The constitutional amendments are designed to reflect a more progressive attitude from the Commonwealth and would apply to any children of Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. The amendments also state that a British monarch would now be allowed to marry a Catholic.
British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his satisfaction with the amendments, stating that "The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he's a man or that a future monarch can marry someone of any faith except a Catholic - this way of thinking is at odds with the modern countries that we've all become."
A poll taken in Britain last March indicated that 75 percent of the respondents supported the end of male- dominated royal succession.
Media Resources: CNN 10/28/11; Los Angeles Times 10/28/11