Brits finally tackle sexism in succession rules
The British monarchy is finally putting its regal foot in the 21st century.
The tradition-laden Family Firm looks like it might soon be rid of centuries-old rules that discriminates against royal daughters inheriting the throne and forbids marriage to Roman Catholics.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is consulting with the 15 other countries recognize the Queen as their head of state – including Canada – to seek consensus on reforming the laws that date back to the time of Henry VIII. Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, has given his blessing to Britain's initiative.
Under the proposed changes, the first child of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, regardless of sex, would eventually become the monarch. As it stands now, a daughter would have to stand aside for a brother, even if she was the first-born.
"We espouse gender equality in all other aspects of life and it is an anomaly that in the rules relating to the highest public office we continue to enshrine male superiority," Cameron wrote in his letter to the heads of the Commonwealth nations, including Stephen Harper.
The current rules about regal religious ties are steeped in British history, dating to the 1500s when Henry VIII famously split with the Roman Catholic church over its laws against divorce.
"This rule is a historical anomaly," Cameron said in his letter. "It does not, for example, bar those who marry spouses of other faiths — and we do not think it can continue to be justified."
The sexism rules have kept women off the throne in the past. Queen Victoria's firstborn was a girl, Victoria, but then along game a boy, who made it to the throne instead as King Edward VII.
Buckingham Palace is staying mum (pardon the pun) on the topic.