Leaders of the 16 commonwealth nations of which the Queen is head of state have agreed to change the rules of royal succession to allow an elder daughter to become queen and remove the ban on a royal marrying a catholic. It will be the biggest change to the rules of succession in centuries. The Queen showed her approval of the changes by allowing her private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, to attend the meeting of the different commonwealth nations’ leaders. He has been asked to advise the Queen on the unanimous approval of the changes by the leaders.
In order for the changes to take effect, Britain must be the first to publish the rule changing legislation. Currently the rules state that an elder daughter will be placed behind a younger son in the line of succession. Once this is changed it will have the immediate effect of moving the Princess Royal, the daughter of the Queen, from her current position as tenth in line to the thrown to fourth, behind Prince Charles and his two sons. It also means if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child is a daughter, she will become queen.
While the rule barring any royal who marries a Catholic from becoming monarch will be abolished, Catholics will continue to be barred from the throne and the monarch will remain the supreme governor of the Church of England. The changes have happened at a summit of commonwealth leaders being held in Perth, Australia.
Speaking on the changes, David Cameron said, “The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he is 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 have become.”