Queen's University

British Royal succession laws

2011-04-21

Queen’s University PhD history student Carolyn Harris is available to talk about the complicated process of trying to change the British royal succession law.

If Prince William and Kate Middleton (who are getting married on April 29) have a daughter first, it seems few people would object to her being first-in-line to the throne. So why isn’t the law being changed to make this happen?

Ms Harris can talk about the very long and complicated process that requires the approval of British Commonwealth countries, including Canada.

“The succession to the British crown, which favours male heirs over female heirs and excludes Roman Catholics, is currently governed by the 1701 Act of Settlement, which draws upon numerous written and unwritten precedents regarding the succession. Changing this law would require the consent of the various commonwealth nations and a decision regarding when the changes to the Act of Settlement would take effect," says Ms Harris, a fourth-year PhD candidate who is studying British and French royalty.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Christina Archibald at 613-533-2877 or Christina.Archibald@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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