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Dennism 04-16-2004 10:39 PM

Changing the constitution?
 
MADRID, April 16 (UPI) -- Spaniards Friday welcomed a proposed change
in the constitution to stop giving male heirs precedence over women
in royal succession.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero included the
announcement he would be seeking the amendment in his investiture
speech Thursday before the Spanish congress, but he said any change
in the law would not apply to the current generation of Spanish
royals.

Under current rules, 36-year-old Crown Prince Felipe will occupy the
Spanish throne after his father King Juan Carlos I, even though
Felipe has two older sisters, Princess Elena, 41, and Princess
Cristina, 39.

Once the constitution is amended, however, the succession will follow
chronologically, regardless of gender, instead of through the male
line.

Members of the public interviewed by Spanish media welcomed the
proposed change. They said it would bring the Spanish monarchy up to
date.

Meanwhile, in another break with tradition, Prince Felipe is
scheduled to marry Spanish television newscaster Letizia Ortiz, a
commoner, in May.


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