Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another queen more likely

Well, probably not until the late 21st century, but changes in rules for royal succession are being made.

Equality and the monarchy
IT IS doubtless a coincidence, but... one month after the leak of a Downing Street memo fretting about David Cameron’s need to reach out to women voters, the prime minister unveiled proposals to change royal succession laws so that a first-born daughter to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would accede to the throne ahead of any younger brothers. The announcement capped a stream of female-friendly policy announcements, including calls for more women on company boards and new guidelines to shield children from online pornography and sexual images in outdoor advertising near schools.

The idea of tweaking centuries-old royal succession rules has been raised by previous governments, but has always been shelved on grounds of complexity. Britain cannot change the rules alone, but must seek support from the 15 other realms of which Elizabeth II is queen.

Mr Cameron has now written to heads of government across the globe from Canada to Australia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, calling it an “anomaly” that, in an age of gender equality, the monarchy continues to enshrine male superiority…

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