The Prime Minister David Cameron has proposed changes to the rules governing the succession to the throne. He suggests that the firstborn should be next in succession, regardless of their gender. Currently the Act of Settlement gives succession to the first male heir. Cameron also proposes making changes to allow those in line to the throne the right to marry a Roman Catholic, although the ban on the monarch being a Catholic would remain. In addition, changes would be made to the 1772 Royal Marriages Act, which requires the many descendants of George II to obtain the permission of the monarch to marry.
However, in order for these changes to be made, the governments of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Belize, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Papua New Guinea would all have to agree, as we share the same head of state.
Hopefully such changes will bring the monarchy into the 19th century.
Yes, firmly into the 19th century. Can't imagine any of the current royals would have a problem with this succession change as de facto it will not change anything in the foreseeable future. Charles is next in line and also male. And both his kids are males.
As for marrying a Catholic -- How very un-Henry VIII of them! So what about other religions? Can a royal marry a Baptist? A Presbyterian? How about a Buddhist, Muslim, druid, or atheist? I mean, if they're going to relax the law, they should be efficient about it.
And finally, with respect to requiring the many descendants of George II to obtain the monarch's permission to marry, I think that provision should remain. Moreover, I think it should be greatly expanded. I think ALL British subjects should be required to obtain permission from the Queen (or whoever happens to be monarch at the time). That will give the monarch something useful to occupy his/her time and might actually lower the divorce rate.