Thursday, January 20, 2011

Royal Wedding Sparks Succession Debate!

LONDON — Lawmakers say it would be the perfect wedding gift – changing Britain's rules of succession so any daughter born to Prince William and wife-to-be Kate Middleton would enjoy an equal right to the throne.

Lawmaker Keith Vaz led a brief House of Commons debate Tuesday calling for an overhaul of the 300-year-old procedures, which many call antiquated and sexist.

"Sex discrimination has been illegal in the UK since 1975 and those who break the law are rightly punished," he told Parliament. "This rule attempts to bring gender equality into our succession rules." He said a series of newspaper polls shows strong support for this change to the rules.

The system currently gives sons an automatic preference over older female siblings to succeed to the British throne. That means if Middleton had a daughter and then a son, the daughter would be passed over and the son would become king when William dies or vacates the throne.



  1. MP Vaz led a "brief debate" ... he is offering a private member's bill - that's it. Nothing is going to happen any time soon, and here's why. Spain's PM, when he came into office, said he wanted to amend the succession laws, which, in Spain, would mean being passed by the current Parliament, and again, by the next government. Nothing has been done.
    In the UK, the issue is further complicated by the various legislation that must be changed. We are not merely talking about the Act of Settlement. There are other laws in the UK that would have to be changed. In other countries, such as Sweden, the law was easy to change. Not in the UK.
    Furthermore, male primogeniture in the UK is largely based on tradition - as there is nothing in the Act of Settlement about male primogeniture. The Queen is also sovereign in numerous Commonwealth countries - and each of these countries would have to change numerous laws. Australia, for one, is not going to want to change the succession. Australians could care less ... many were prefer a republic.
    PM Cameron said he broached the topic at a recent Commonwealth meeeting. Broaching a topic does not mean a spur to action on behalf of the particular Commonwealth nations.
    Changing the succession is not a priority of the current Parliament. Britain has far too many really important issues to deal with right now. It will also take a lot of preliminary work before proper and real legislation is put before Parliament. This is a private member's bill and Vaz got his 15 minutes - and parliament will move on.

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