The Succession To The Crown Bill has become the Succession To The Crown Act 2013 today after Her Majesty The Queen gave her Royal Assent to the bill which will now allow women equal rights for succession to the throne, among other necessary changes to the laws of succession.
Some of the key changes this new piece of legislation brings about include:
- Females now have equal rights to succeed to the throne under what is now Absolute Primogeniture. Previously, females could only succeed if they had no brothers under the rules of Male Preference Primogeniture. Now, a female cannot be displaced in the line of succession by a younger brother. This applies retrospectively only from those born after 28 October 2011. The current line of succession won’t change as part of this law.
- A member of the Royal Family can now marry a Roman Catholic and not be excluded for the line of succession to the throne. This law does apply retrospectively and members of the Royal Family who have married Roman Catholics will be restored to the line of succession.
- Descendants of George II no longer require the permission of The Queen to marry. This law was amended because there are so many descendants of George II who are no longer closely connected to the Monarch and people were marrying and not being aware that their marriage was actually automatically annulled because they didn’t seek permission (because they didn’t know).
- The first six people in line to the throne must seek the permission of The Queen to marry now. If they fail to obtain permission, they are excluded from succeeding to the throne.
This new act now means that should the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a baby girl this July, the baby could not later be displaced by the birth of a brother, meaning the first child of the Duke and Duchess will definitely be King or Queen of this country one day.
Although the act is now law, the clauses come into effect once the Lord President decides (which’ll be when the other realms have passed laws on succession).