The Australian Government is being asked to approve changes in the law governing royal succession to allow the first born child of the sovereign, whether male or female, to become heir to the throne. Britain’s constitutional law minister Mike Harper disclosed overnight that discussions to change the Act of Settlement were taking place. “Ministers have already accepted that the provisions of the Act of Settlement might be discriminatory. Discussions are under way,” he said.

Those discussions involve Commonwealth countries like Australia which still have the Queen as the head of state.

The London Daily Telegraph reports that under the current law, any male child takes precedence in the order of succession over his sisters. That would mean that any son born to Prince William would become King, even if he had an older sister. The UK’s Coalition government believes that the law may be discriminatory and is considering ways to change it. That would mean changing the law in every one of the 15 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, says the Telegraph, is expected to discuss changing the Act at a summit of Commonwealth leaders in Australia later this year.

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Peter Fray
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