British royal succession rules to change
Perth: Centuries of British royal discrimination came to an end on Friday after Commonwealth leaders agreed to drop rules that give sons precedence as heir to the throne and bar anyone in line for the crown from marrying a Roman Catholic.
The 16 countries that have Queen Elizabeth as their monarch agreed to the changes put forward by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who had called the rules of succession outdated.
"The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he is a man, or that a future monarch can marry someone of any faith except a Catholic, this way of thinking is at odds with the modern countries that we`ve all become," Cameron told reporters.
The agreement came on the sidelines of a Commonwealth summit presided over by the Queen in the remote west Australian city of Perth.
Current succession rules dating back to 1688 and 1700 were designed to ensure a Protestant monarchy, and bar anyone in line to the throne from marrying a Catholic.
Only a Catholic link is barred. There are no restrictions on marrying members of other religions or atheists.
The rules have their roots in a turbulent period of English history dating back to Henry VIII`s break with Rome in the mid- 16th century. The laws were imposed at a time when Catholics were seen as a threat to the state.
However, the British monarch remains head of the Church of England.
The leaders also agreed to drop the practice of giving precedence to male over female heirs to the throne, regardless of age.
The issue has been brought into focus by this year`s wedding of Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, and Kate Middleton.
Without a change, their first son would eventually become king even if he had an older sister.
A group will now be set up to coordinate the necessary legislation for the changes.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Bihar polls: Lalu's younger son claims to be older than elder brother
- Rahul Gandhi received pay while on 56 day leave: Organizer
- Mega sale: Snapdeal, Flipkart, others gear up for festive season
- Zee Media Exclusive: Three Romanians arrested in skimming scam in Mumbai
- Dadri lynching: Azam Khan seeks UN intervention
- Salman Khan, Aamir Khan's friendship turns sour? Here's the truth
- India vs South Africa: How cricket fraternity reacted to crowd's disgraceful behaviour at Cuttack
- Dadri lynching: Any threat to secular fabric of country will not be tolerated, says Rajnath Singh
- 'Rahul Gandhi gets pay without work'
- Dadri Police recommends FIR against Mahesh Sharma, Sangeet Som, Naseemuddin Siddiqui