Friday, October 28, 2011

Ding, dong...

...another bastion of gender inequality is dead. Well, dead in the sense of not being a bastion of gender inequality any more.

Upon the ratification of appropriate Acts by the elected governments of the United Kingdom, the sixteen Commonwealth countries that still consider the British Monarch to be their head of state and the Manx Tynwald, the male requirement for succession will be removed from the British Monarchy. The Act of Succession will also be amended to permit the Monarch to be married to a Roman Catholic (although the monarch him or herself will still be required to be 'in communion with the Church of England').

What this means, in plain English, is that the first child born to William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine will become the direct line heir to the throne after his or her grandfather, then father (displacing Prince Henry). If this child is female, then by the older tradition she would have been displaced by a younger brother.

This will no longer be true. The line of succession will now pass to the first born legitimate child regardless of gender, beginning with the offspring of William and Catherine.

This is way, way overdue. Since 1993, it has been possible for a woman to serve on an active duty warship in the Royal Navy, allowing a female heir to properly fulfill the traditional requirement of service as a military officer. (William broke with this tradition in choosing to serve in the army not the navy). Interestingly, Queen Elizabeth II did partially fulfill this requirement by serving as an ambulance driver during the final months of the blitz (as soon as she became old enough).

There is no reason why the reigning monarch needs to be a man and no reason to retain this archaic tradition.

So, all I am going to say now is:

Finally.

Finally.

Finally.