Equal rights for Princesses?
by Milly Shaw // 26 September 2008, 10:50
The 300-year-old law that stops a Catholic from being King/Queen and ranks males higher than females in claims to the throne could be abolished.
The law as it currently stands is thought to contravene the Sex Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Act, reports The Guardian.
Geoffrey Robertson QC, the constitutional lawyer who has represented the Guardian in challenges to the constitutional restrictions, said: "I welcome this as two small steps towards a more rational constitution.
"The Act of Settlement determined that the crown shall descend only on Protestant heads and that anyone 'who holds communion with the church of Rome or marries a Papist' - not to mention a Muslim, Hindu, Jew or Rastafarian - is excluded by force of law.
"This arcane and archaic legislation enshrined religious intolerance in the bedrock of the British constitution. In order to hold the office of head of state you must be white Anglo-German Protestant - a descendant of Princess Sophia of Hanover - down the male line on the feudal principle of primogeniture. This is in blatant contravention of the Sex Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Act."