Succession changes in the British Monarchy?
This should interest the Monarchists and Monarchy-enthusiasts among us.

<FONT size=1>(Aside: I wish Jovan were here to comment on this.  I hope he's doing well)</FONT>

Quote:<TABLE class=storycontent cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=2>PM and Palace 'discussed reform' </TD></TR><TR><TD class=storybody> BO IIMA <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=226 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>[Image: _45255803_-6.jpg] <DIV class=cap>A Private Members' Bill on the reforms has been put forward</DIV></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- E IIMA SF <P class=first><B>Gordon Brown and Buckingham Palace have discussed plans to change the rules of succession to the throne, including giving royal women equal rights.</B> Downing Street said the scrapping of the ban on heirs to the throne marrying Roman Catholics was also discussed.
Mr Brown said people expected discrimination to be removed and Tory leader David Cameron backed the reform.
Meanwhile a BBC poll suggests public support for reform, with 80% wanting equal succession rights for women.
<!-- E SF A Private Members' Bill aimed at ending the discrimination was debated in the House of Commons on Friday but the government is not backing it.
But speaking during his visit to Brazil the prime minister said: "There are clearly issues about the exclusion of people from the rights of succession and there are clearly issues that have got to be dealt with. This is not an easy set of answers.
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<!-- END - caption </DIV><!-- end of the embedded player component <!-- END of Inline Embedded Media "But I think in the 21st Century people do expect discrimination to be removed and they do expect us to be looking at all these issues."
Mr Cameron said: "The Queen is not just our Queen. She is the Queen of all the Commonwealth countries that have her as their head of state so this is not an easy change to make."
<B>Male precedence</B>
The rules of succession are laid down in the 1701 Act of Settlement.
IBOX <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=231 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=5>[Image: o.gif]</TD><TD class=sibtbg>BBC POLL: THE PUBLIC SPEAKS <DIV class=bull>Equal rights for royal women? - <B>89% yes</B> Heir allowed to marry Catholic? - <B>81% yes</B> British monarchy to continue? - <B>76% yes</B> 1,000 people polled by ICM Research, 20-22 March 2009</DIV>[Image: inline_dashed_line.gif]
ILIN <DIV class=arr><A class="" href="" __eventIdglow14241622="101" target=_blank>Why the monarchy discriminates </A><!-- E ILIN ILIN <A class="" href="" __eventIdglow14241622="100" target=_blank>Can we modernise tradition? </A><!-- E ILIN ILIN <A class="" href="" __eventIdglow14241622="99" target=_blank>Send us your comments </A><!-- E ILIN </DIV></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- E IBOX It states heirs to the throne lose their right to be the sovereign if they marry a Catholic or convert.
In addition, male heirs are given precedence.
If the Act was changed to give royal daughters equal rights, Princess Anne would become fourth in line, behind Prince Harry. Currently she comes after the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, and their children.
As things stand, Prince William cannot marry a Roman Catholic and become king.
And if he has a daughter she cannot be queen if she has a younger brother.
Prince Michael of Kent, the Queen's first cousin, is among a small number of royals who have renounced their place in the line of succession by marrying a Catholic.
Autumn Kelly, the Canadian wife of the Queen's grandson Peter Phillips, gave up her Catholic faith ahead of their 2008 wedding so her husband could retain his right to the throne.
IBOX <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=231 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=5>[Image: o.gif]</TD><TD class=sibtbg>HISTORICAL BASIS
<DIV class=bull>The 1701 Act of Settlement was designed to secure the Protestant succession to the throne</DIV>
<DIV class=bull>The rules of primogeniture, Latin for first born, mean men come first and date back to feudal times</DIV>[Image: inline_dashed_line.gif]
ILIN <DIV class=arr><A class="" href="" __eventIdglow14241622="98" target=_blank><B>Defending the faith, or prejudice?</B> </A><!-- E ILIN </DIV></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- E IBOX The BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said Prince Charles and his officials were quietly thinking about the changes that should be made to the monarchy when he finally succeeds to the throne.
He added that allowing heirs to the throne to marry Catholics "opened a can of ecclesiastical worms" for the Church of England, the official church of which the monarch is the Supreme Governor.
<B>'In principle'</B>
The reform bill has been introduced by Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris.
IBOX <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=231 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width=5>[Image: o.gif]</TD><TD class=sibtbg>READ THE FULL BILL [Image: _45608085_actofunion_pa.jpg]
ILIN <DIV class=acrol><A class="" href="" __eventIdglow14241622="97" target=_blank><B>Royal Marriages and Succession Bill</B> [80KB] </A><!-- E ILIN </DIV>Most computers will open this document automatically, but you may need Adobe Reader IINC <DIV class=arr>Download the reader here<!-- E IINC </DIV></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- E IBOX Sources at Number 10 have said while the government supports the "principles and objectives" of the bill, it would not support the bill itself.
Such reform would need the backing of the 15 other Commonwealth countries which have the British monarch as head of state.
Downing Street confirmed the prime minister would raise the prospect of the major reforms at a Commonwealth summit in November, and that dialogue with Buckingham Palace was ongoing.
Dr Harris has cross-party support for his proposals, but a Ministry of Justice spokesman said while the government "stood firmly against discrimination" there were no immediate plans to legislate because the changes required were "complex".
But Dr Harris told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme in comparison to other bills, which often require hundreds of statutory amendments, his was "not complicated".
"This is one of the smallest bills the government would ever have to put through," he said. "It is not rocket science."
<B>'Sectarian history'</B>
He said the principle of primogeniture, which gives male heirs priority over older female heirs, was common law and a simple clause in his bill would end discrimination against women.
To end the discrimination against Catholics would require nine Acts to be reviewed, of which four or five would need to be amended, he said.
He added constitutional experts had said there was a "moral obligation" to consult the Commonwealth countries but they did not have the power to veto.
"It is this country that has the sad history of sectarianism, not the Canadas or Australias of this world," he said.
He urged the government to support the bill to uphold their 1997 election pledge to end "unjustified discrimination wherever it existed".
IIMA <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=226 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>[Image: _45606093_monarch226x293.gif] </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!-- E IIMA His bill would not change the law preventing a Catholic from being the monarch.
Pressure group Republic said the bill "would change little" but welcomed the debate on the future of the monarchy.
"The reforms do not even do what Evan Harris says they do. The monarch would still not be allowed to be Catholic, so the discrimination is still there," said spokesman Graham Smith.
The BBC poll, conducted by ICM Research, suggests four out of five people want to give women equal rights of succession and remove the ban on the heir marrying a Roman Catholic.
Some 89% of the 1,000 people questioned believed male and female heirs should have equal rights to succeed to the throne.
Some 81% believed that an heir to the throne should be allowed to marry a Roman Catholic and still become monarch.
According to the poll, 76% said the monarchy should continue after the Queen, against 18% who said they would favour Britain becoming a republic. An additional 6% said they did not know.

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Succession changes in the British Monarchy? - by WhollyRoaminCatholic - 03-27-2009, 12:10 PM

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