Centuries Old Practice of ‘Primogeniture’ becomes a thing of the Past

The time-honored tradition of primogeniture, in which succession of the Royal throne is handed down to the first male child in the family,was laid to rest on Friday, when the 16 Commonwealth nations that acknowledge Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch, announced that male heirs will no longer take precedence over their sisters in succession. The new reform ends a 300-year old tradition in which the only way a woman could ascend the throne was if the previous monarch had no sons.

The reform was announced by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, attended by the Queen, in Perth, Australia.  Cameron said the historic rules were “at odds with the modern countries that we have become” and that  ”put simply, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen.”

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