Britain mulls royal succession change as wedding nears

16th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain said Saturday it was mulling changes to "discriminatory" rules on the line of succession, meaning Prince William and Kate Middleton's first born could accede to the throne regardless of gender.

Currently the principle of male primogeniture means that the first born son would be next in line to the throne, even if he had an older sister.

But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is responsible for constitutional reform, is looking at ways of changing the rule to grant any future princesses born to the couple the same rights as male heirs.

William, the second-in-line to the British throne, will marry Kate at London's Westminster Abbey on April 29.

The British monarch is head of state of 16 Commonwealth nations and any change to the line of succession would require legislation in all these countries.

A government spokesman said discussions had started with Commonwealth countries that would be affected.

"Amending the laws regarding succession to the throne is a complex and difficult matter that requires careful and thoughtful consideration," said the spokesman.

"The government accepts there are provisions which could be discriminatory.

"Discussions have started with those Commonwealth countries who would be directly affected by any change in the rules, and are continuing, but it would not be appropriate to release details at this stage."

© 2011 AFP

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