Commonwealth to Discuss Royal Succession‎ Reform



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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper supports British proposals to reform monarchy laws.
Commonwealth to Discuss Royal Succession‎ Reform

He will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron and other heads of state from within the Commonwealth to debate the 1701 Act of Settlement, which concerns who can ascend to the British throne, and become head of state for the 15th Commonwealth countries which still recognise the monarchy.

Currently the act gives preference to a male heir of any age over a daughter, even if the female is older, meaning if Prince William and Duchess Catherine were to have a girl followed by a boy, the boy would become king.

It also forbids any heir who is married to a Catholic from taking the throne.

Cameron sent a letter last month to Commonwealth nations seeking consensus on rewriting these rules.

It states: "We espouse gender equality in all other aspects of life and it is an anomaly that in the rules relating to the highest public office we continue to enshrine male superiority."

On the ban on marrying Catholics, he added: "this rule is a historical anomaly - it does not, for example, bar those who marry spouses of other faiths - and we do not think it can continue to be justified."

The leaders will discuss these proposals when they meet later in October at a summit in Perth, Australia.

Canadian spokesman Andrew MacDougall said: "Prime Minister Harper has informed Prime Minister Cameron that we are supportive of these reasonable modernisations."

Only 15 of 54 Commonwealth countries still recognize the queen as their head of state.




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