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Kate, William And Male-Preference Primogeniture… Writes Lynne Featherstone

by Ian Shires on 18 April, 2011

The following article was written by the Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone and published on her website.

Hurrah! At last (and hopefully finally successfully) the issue of the first born MALE child of the monarchy being first in line to the throne – regardless of any sisters that might have been born before him – looks like it will now end.

I have been banging on about this for ages including here , here, here, here and here. You can see it’s been one of my recurring themes….

Of course – now the race is on – because the change must come before it becomes an issue with actual children involved – and therefore far more difficult and personal. So with the marriage of Kate and William – time is of the essence.

This is of huge importance in terms of equalities. There can be no more potent message to people in this country and beyond – that women are second class citizens – than the shoving of a girl child out of the way of the throne in favour of her younger brother.

And it is extra-ordinary – that with a female monarch such as Queen Elizabeth – who commands respect from all – even republicans – that this inappropriate tradition that belongs to the past should continue.

The last time I raised this publicly – there was agreement on all sides that this should be done – but that the stumbling block was that the change has to be agreed to by all the Commonwealth countries.

Whilst that is the case – I very much hope that no Commonwealth Country would wish to stand in the way of this change and would give their full support.

If we don’t act now – this unacceptable discrimination will be here for another generation. It is an insult to women – an historical legacy and relic from a by-gone age – and this is our moment of opportunity for change.

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