The leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state unanimously approved the changes to succession to the throne laws at a summit in Perth, Australia. The Commenwealth (used to be the pink bits on old maps) are actullay still around 54-nation organisation, which represents two billion people around the globe ranging from Canada, Australia, South Africa. New Zealand, and India to small West Indian islands such as Barbados and Grenada.
Under the old succession laws, dating back more than 300 years, the heir to the throne is the first-born son of the monarch. Only when there are no sons, as in the case of the Queen's father George VI, does the crown pass to the eldest daughter. So Princess Anne, even though Prince Charle's sister currently finds herself way down the pecking order when it comes to assending to the throne.
This is now no longer the case.
This change will apply to descendents of the Prince of Wales. They will not be applied retrospectively. So what it mans is that under the new ruling a first-born daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate) will take precedence over younger brothers. In other word, first come no matter what sex will be the next in line.
That was not the only rule that was changed, the ban on a future monarch marrying someone of any faith except a Catholic, which goes back to the days of Henry VIII has also been lifted. The actual monarch must still be in communion with the Church of England, because after all he or she is the head of that Church. But now they can marry a person from "any faith" without exception.
Barry Eva (Storyheart)
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