HomeThis week in history10 years of gender equality in the Royal line of succession

10 years of gender equality in the Royal line of succession


Ten years ago today the leaders of all 16 Commonwealth nations agreed to amend the Royal Succession law! Under the new laws the crown will pass to the eldest child irrespective of their gender if they were born after October 28th 2011.

The law was last amended more than three centuries ago in 1701 under the Act of Settlement, however, sons have always inherited the throne before daughters, which dates back to the first Norman King of England, William the Conqueror!

Interestingly, the updated laws also allowed the future Monarch to marry someone of the Catholic faith, which was previously barred.

David Cameron, who was the Prime Minister of the UK in 2011, said: “It is simply wrong they [the Monarch] should be denied the chance to marry a Catholic if they wish to do so. After all, they are already quite free to marry someone of any other faith.”

Julia Gillard who was Australia’s Prime Minister at the time said it was an extraordinary moment: “I’m very enthusiastic about it. You would expect the first Australian woman prime minister to be very enthusiastic about a change which equals equality for women in a new area.”

You can read more about the line of succession on the royal family website: https://www.royal.uk/succession

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