Huge public support for removing sex discrimination in royal inheritance

With the Royal Family very much in the news at the moment, a recent YouGov poll asked if people thought the rules favouring men over women when it comes to succeeding to the throne should be changed:

Currently male children of the monarch takeprecedence over female children in terms of thesuccession. Do you think men and women shouldbe treated equally in the line of succession to the throne?

Should 70%
Should not 17%

Both Lynne Featherstone and Evan Harris took up this issue in the last Parliament, with Lynne getting widespread media coverage for her mini-campaign and commenting:

For me the basic point is quite simple: the monarchy is meant to be a symbol for our country, so what does it say that we enshrine sexism right at its heart – in the rules for who gets to be monarch? Banishing sexism from the monarchy would be a powerful symbol for the rest of society – where there is still so much to do.

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14 Comments

  • As a staunch republican I would rather see the whole issue made redundant. However, that isn’t going to happen any time soon. Therefore, this issue ought to be addressed now. Of course, William’s first child – assuming he has any – may be a boy thus making the matter irrelevant for another generation but it would be better to change things now.

  • Leviticus18_23 24th Nov '10 - 3:31pm

    Does that mean that only 13% said they really couldn’t care less either way?

  • Huge public support for removing sex discrimination in royal inheritance

    Do they want to end age discrimination as well? After all, older children take precedence over younger ones in the line of succession.

    And what about the discrimination that preferences closer relatives over distant ones?

  • Or the discrimination that favours one very rich, aristocratic family at the expense of millions of other upstanding citizens.

    Abolish them all.

  • Why do we care about modernising something that is so clearly a relic of the past? Keep them around for the tourists by all means – I won’t dispute that they’ve got some appeal. But the whole point of the monarchy is that it’s old, daft and fairly useless.

  • paul barker 24th Nov '10 - 8:00pm

    When are we going to develop the courage to call for the abolition of the Monarchy ? We call ourselves Liberal Democrats, what is Liberal about a system that says some people are born being worth more than others ? Democracy – we dont elect the Queen.
    Incidentally, if we finally “came out” as repulicans we would really piss off Labour & the Tories & confuse our enemies.

  • While we are at it, somebody should also deal with the law which stipulates that a monarch or future monarch cannot marry a Catholic (or even a converted ex-Catholic, as far as I am aware). Perhaps Catholics should count themselves lucky to be protected from having to marry into that family, but then – it is a piece of outdated discrimination which is really rather embarrassing.

  • But presumably as Lynne’s now the Minister for Equalities she won’t do anything about her mini campaign because we didn’t win the election?

  • David Evans 25th Nov '10 - 5:02am

    I wonder what proportion of those asked would have added, “…but in the curent cliamte, I don’t think that parliament should waste its time on it now.”

  • Old Codger Chris 3rd May '11 - 8:28pm

    Of course a monarchy is nonsense in a democracy. But in addition to the tourist money and the fact that millions of our fellow citizens love the royals, there’s another very good reason for keeping them.

    If the head of state is also the political head it’s likely that half – maybe more – of the country, will dislike them. Look at US and French experience. Alternatively, if he or she is a powerless figurehead – probably a so-called elder statesman – the post is meaningless.

    Like some other things in life, British royalty is an absurdity which works surprisingly well most of the time. Admittedly, that is due in large measure to our present queen – it remains to be seen how successful the monarchy will be in generations to some.

    Oh, and of course the ban on Catholics must be removed – and the law on inheritance must be changed BEFORE Will and Kate’s first baby. If Charles had died childless, Andrew and Edward would have taken precedence over Anne. Enough said?

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