The rules have changed for Britain’s royal family, with the unanimous approval by the Commonwealth countries of changes to the Bill of Rights 1688; the Coronation Oath Act 1688; the Act of Settlement 1701; and the Royal Marriages Act 1772.  The new law places daughters and sons on an equal footing with respect to inheriting the throne, beginning with any children born to Prince William and Princess Kate. The new law also abolished the rule prohibiting a British monarch from being married to a Catholic.

For the story as reported in the New York Times, see John F. Burns, “British Monarchy Scraps Rule of Male Succession in New Step to Modernization” (Oct. 28, 2011).