Brits End Gender Discrimination in Royal Succession
Commonwealth leaders agreed to drop rules that give sons precedence as heir to the throne and bar anyone in line for the crown from marrying a Roman Catholic.
When I first saw the CSM headline “Girls rule: 300 years of British royal gender discrimination ends,” my initial reaction was to snark, “The Queen and Mrs. Thatcher will be relieved.” But the policy change is real and laudable:
Centuries of British royal discrimination came to an end Friday after Commonwealth leaders agreed to drop rules that give sons precedence as heir to the throne and bar anyone in line for the crown from marrying a Roman Catholic.
The 16 countries that have Queen Elizabeth as their monarch agreed to the changes put forward by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who had called the rules of succession outdated.
“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’ve all become,” Cameron told reporters.
The snarky will be inclined to observe that the same could be said of monarchy. But the UK and Commonwealth version has been almost entirely ceremonial for a very long time now and has its benefits.