Cameron Proposes Changes to Succession

  October 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm by

The hot topic amongst British royal watchers going into this week is Prime Minister David Cameron’s October 12th reveal that he has proposed changes to 1701 Act of Succession, which determines the line of succession to the British throne.

The proposed changes would install equal primogeniture into the line of succession – meaning that a first-born child would be heir, regardless of gender – and would abolish the Catholic clause, which disbars those who marry a Catholic from retaining their place in the line of succession. Prime Minister Cameron has proposed these changes in anticipation of the recently married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having children in the coming years – the changes, if passed, would allow the couple’s hypothetical first-born daughter to remain above a hypothetical second-born son in the line of succession.

It has not been announced how exactly the changes will be implemented into the succession – will it come into affect only once they have been passed?; will it come into affect once passed, with a clause stating that children born after the proposal annoucement are included?; will a retroactive starting point be determined (ie. January 1st, 2000), thereby encompassing all children born since that date (moving Lady Louise Windsor above younger brother Viscount Severn)?; will it be retroactive to the point of Queen Elizabeth II’s children, allowing The Princess Royal and her descendants to leapfrog above The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex? Thought will have to go into how exactly these changes will be made (and depending upon the speed of which the Cambridges produce their first child, the changes may be put on hold if they have a first-born son – which is what happened in 1982 when The Princess of Wales was expecting her first child).

Prime Minister Cameron will discuss the matter with the heads of the fifteen other Commonwealth nations which will be required to approve the changes before they can come into affect at next week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, to be held in Perth, Australia. With the potential to open up a severe can of worms – including a discussion on whether or not some of these nations should retain the monarchy – it would not be unforeseeable that the proposed changes may not be approved for several years.

TRF BLOG SOUND-OFF: What is your opinion on the propsed changes? Let us know in the comments below.

You can read more about the proposed changes in this thread at TRF.

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9 Responses to Cameron Proposes Changes to Succession

  1. Anthony d j Worthington says:

    I believe it should take place, equal primogeniture and not just in the United Kingdom.

  2. The effect of the proposed changes will affect the Royal Family.

  3. Kelly says:

    I believe they should change it ASAP and ensure that it extends backs to Princess Anne is a female and should therefore receive status ahead of Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

  4. Nicolas de Cardenas says:

    I don’t believe that it will be a good idea. For one thing the whole concept of a reigning family will be radically changed.

  5. Tamas Kovacs says:

    I think that the changes would be great for the Royal Family. That id because they would join Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in the equal prigminiture. It would affect the Royal Family greatly. Especially Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Because Beatrice is 5th and Eugenie is 6th in the succession. These changes wouls leave them in 8th and 9th places. But I do think that these changes should be made. To make our Royal Family even better.

  6. helen says:

    It would seem by extension then noble titles would also be based on primogenture and that would really have quite an impact on society.

  7. Karen Anderson says:

    The announcement should be made to accomodate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children. In other words a new starting point in History.

    Karen Anderson

  8. Gregor says:

    The British Royal Family will really fuss about the Catholic Clause. The Colberg’s of Saxonany being under the “House of Hannover” will never let this happen. Should the clause be removed it would allow those families of the Hapsburg line a way to the British Crown. Forget it—the Catholic Clause will remain.

  9. An Australian Royalist says:

    Not a sensible idea. The British monarchy is one of the few remaining traditional institutions in the English-speaking world, and although meddling with it in this way might be seen as a symbolic victory by feminist diehards, it will hardly improve the attitude of most republicans (or monarchists, for that matter) towards the time-honoured system of constitutional monarchy.

    If we are serious about enacting new laws in the hope of retaining and improving this grand institution in an increasingly unstable world, perhaps it would pay to look back to the foundations of our monarchy and society – the Bible and the Christian religion. Our monarchs swear to maintain “the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel” and the “Protestant Reformed Religion established by law”. While protecting women and children, these laws give precedence to benevolent rule by men in the family, the church and the state.

    Hence the reason why some – such as the youthful King Edward VI – have even favoured Salic law. In his day, in “the kingdom of France, females were, by an express law, excluded from succeeding to the crown”, and King Edward actually “proposed to the Privy Council the adoption of this law in England; but the motion, not suiting the ambitious views of the Duke of Northumberland, was overruled” (Thomas McCrie’s “Life of John Knox”). Had the king not been overruled, Lady Jane Grey – the reluctant nine-day queen – would never have been executed at the tender age of sixteen under Mary (“Bloody Mary”) Tudor. Reintroduced in our day, such an idea as King Edward’s would have the potential to strengthen our monarchy and to increase the popularity of this institution among both men and women (witness the tremendous popularity of Prince William among Australians, versus the unprecedented low popularity levels of their first female prime minister). It could also help shore up support among burgeoning non-English-speaking communities throughout the Commonwealth.

    Judging by the recent autocratic and communistic behaviour of both the Australian and UK governments – abolition of hereditary peerage for example, and refusing a referendum on Europe (UK); or dishonestly imposing a Carbon Tax, together with a wild attempt at “fast-tracking” women into front line army service (Australia) – it would seem improbable that the Australian or British public will be consulted as to any major changes to our monarchy; much less that Salic law would be considered by such parliaments any time soon.

    But each of the sixteen realms under the British monarchy has the opportunity to consider the wisdom of the new feminist proposal now on the table, and to consult the will of their people. And since the populations of such nations as Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands generally choose to elect only men to their parliaments, one would presume that such nations would at least favour the retention of our current system of male primogeniture. May their leaders have the courage of their convictions to act democratically and veto this childish proposal of the British Prime Minister’s junior coalition partner!

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