QUEEN ELIZABETH II IN AUSTRALIA: PERTH & THE COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF GOVERNMENT MEET: CHANGES TO THE LINE OF SUCCESSION

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are at the end of their 10-day official visit to Australia.  On October 27, 2011 in Perth, the Queen visited Clontarf Aboriginal College  and attended a state reception at Government House.  On October 28th, the Queen opened a Commonwealth Summit in Perth.  This year’s meeting has proven significant in that the leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries of which Queen Elizabeth II is their head of state, agreed to set into motion, changes that will have a significant effect on the succession laws governing the British monarchy.   The leaders approved the introduction of new legislation at home that will overturn the current male primogeniture laws that has been in effect for hundreds of years.   Once all the necessary legislation is passed and amended (including the 1689 Bill of Rights, the 1701 Act of Settlement and the 1772 Royal Marriages Act), it will mean that  sons and daughters will have equal rights to the throne.  No longer will males have precedence over females in the order of succession.  Eleven previous attempts to change the succession have been unsuccessful until now.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced that the changes would not be applied retrospectively and that they would apply to the descendants of the Prince of Wales.  “Put simply,” said Cameron, “if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen.”

Another radical change will take place.  Plans to scrap the long-standing law barring a potential monarch from marrying a Roman Catholic has also been approved, though the monarch still must be an Anglican by virtue of his or head role at Head of the Church of England.   In referring to this part of the proposed changes, David Cameron said, “the monarch must be in communion with the Church of England because he or she is head of that Church.  But it is simply wrong they should be denied the chance to marry a Catholic if they wish to do so.  After all, they are already quite free to marry someone else of any other faith.”

Signing the guest book at Clontarf Aboriginal College in Perth, October 27, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen is received with a respectful bow from one of her young Australian subjects (photo: Getty Images)

The Queen looks at an Australian Rules football on a visit to Clontarf Aboriginal College in Perth, Australia (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II with Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett during a reception at Government House, Perth, October 27, 2011 (photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Queen wearing a fashionable hat in Perth, October 27, 2011 (photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Queen arrives for the banquet held for Commonwealth Heads of Government, October 28, 2011 (photo: Stewart Allen/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II in Perth, Australia for the Commonwealth Leaders' Conference, October 28, 2011 (photo: Stewart Allen/Getty Images)

The Queen, resplendent in her tiara and necklace, makes a speech in Perth, Australia (photo: Stewart Allen/Getty Images)

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