Boy or girl, nations already bow to future heir
Published 05/12/2012 | 05:00
ALL Commonwealth realms have agreed to press ahead with a bill ending discrimination against women in the succession to the British throne.
The move means that William and Kate's child will wear the crown, whether a boy or a girl, when they succeed the throne after Prince William.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg pledged yesterday that the law on succession would be changed at the "earliest opportunity".
He said "whether the baby is a boy or a girl, they will have an equal claim to the throne".
"Born to rule, be it a boy or a girl" proclaimed one paper, which noted that the baby had "already made royal and constitutional history" even before it was born.
Not so fast, caution others.
Experts point out that despite politicians' promises, the law giving males primacy in succession has not yet been changed – and the clock is ticking.
"We know that the wishes of politicians are written in water," said royal historian Robert Lacey. "Law only becomes law when the law is made.
The new legislation, which will also end the ban on anyone in the line of succession marrying a Roman Catholic, was agreed in principle at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Perth, Australia.