New Succession Rules Take Effect in Britain

  March 26, 2015 at 9:37 am by

The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 came into effect in the United Kingdom and its realms at midnight GMT today, March 26, after being ratified by all the Commonwealth realms.

It means that males no longer take precedence over females, meaning that an elder daughter cannot be overtaken by a younger son. Marriage to Roman Catholics is now allowed while retaining rights to the throne (the monarch must be Anglican however).

Another change is that only individuals who are within the first six places of the line of succession require permission from the monarch to marry.

The Act was agreed upon by the Commonwealth realms at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia in October 2011. The changes are backdated to begin on the day of initial agreement, October 28.

Several members of the extended royal family will see the new Act impact upon their succession rights: Prince Michael of Kent, who lost his place upon marriage to a Catholic in 1978, is put back into the line of succession in position 42. The Earl of St Andrews, elder son of the Duke of Kent, also regains his succession rights, popping back in the line at position 30.

Senna and Tāne Lewis, the children of Lady Davina Lewis (elder daughter of the Duke of Gloucester) switch places as Senna is the elder of the two children and Tāne was born in 2012 (they are positions 28 and 29). Lyla and Rufus Gilman, the children of Lady Rose Gilman (younger daughter of the Duke of Gloucester), have also switched places for the same reason as their first cousins (positions 31 and 32).

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