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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