Girls equal in British throne succession

While teaching Richard II in a Shakespeare class, I had to get up to speed on the rules and customs of succession, as Shakespeare knew them, so that my students and I could understand and explore the political issues that Elizabethan audiences would find in the play. News from England today bears word of some changes.

Sons and daughters of any future UK monarch will have equal right to the throne, after Commonwealth leaders agreed to change succession laws.

The leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state unanimously approved the changes at a summit in Perth, Australia.

It means a first-born daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would take precedence over younger brothers.

The ban on the monarch being married to a Roman Catholic was also lifted.

via BBC News – Girls equal in British throne succession.

It’s still illegal for the monarch to be a Catholic, owing to the monarch’s role as head of the Church of England.