Progressiveness? At CHOGM?
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, currently being held in Perth, has yesterday voiced its support for ending the misogynistic succession rules in the British monarchy, that currently give preference to later-born sons over first-born daughters in determining the succession to the throne. Although the next two in line for the throne are anglican males, as the current rules dictate, the debate has been given new precedence since the marriage of Prince William, and the possibility that a first-born daughter would not be the 'chosen one'.
In a statement that has received significantly less publicity, however, the meeting is also considering the 'outrageous' suggestion that monarchs be allowed to marry catholics, and that catholics would be allowed to ascend to the throne.
I wonder if we'll ever be progressive enough to consider a muslim monarch? Or a buddhist? Or, god forbid, an atheist?
I just hope that the debate on an Australian republic can begin in earnest again soon, and we won't have to put up with any of them.
AUSTRALIA was among 16 Commonwealth nations that agreed last night to a request by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to change the rules of succession for the monarchy and to allow monarchs to marry Catholics.
Fresh from the euro zone crisis talks in Europe, Mr Cameron flew into Perth yesterday morning for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. In a session held on the sidelines of the event, Mr Cameron convened a meeting of the 16 countries of the Commonwealth that have the Queen as their head of state.
Therefore, if Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, first have a daughter she will be the heir to the throne, not any brother that may come after.
Each nation agreed to pass laws to change the Act of Settlement, which gives male children of the royal couple precedence over older sisters in the order of succession to the throne.
The Queen reigns because she did not have a brother. Mr Cameron has been campaigning to change the act and abolish a ban on spouses of Catholics ascending to the throne.
Mr Cameron said last night the meeting was: ''something of a historic moment''.
''This way of thinking is at odds with the modern countries that we have all become,'' he said. ''Some outdated rules, like some of the rules on succession, don't make sense to us any more.''
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said she was proud the moment had occurred in Australia and said even though the changes were in line with modern thinking ''don't underestimate their historical significance''.
Ms Gillard has secured in-principle support from state and territory leaders who will also have to pass laws.
The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, told the Queen when she visited Canberra last week that the changes were ''a sign that ancient institutions need not be anachronisms''.
The changes will overturn 300 years of royal convention.
The 16 realms are: Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Belize, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Papua New Guinea.
Mr Cameron and Ms Gillard will hold a separate bilateral meeting today where it is understood their support for pricing carbon will be discussed.
Mr Cameron said last night he did not want to get involved in the domestic debate but a market mechanism was the most effective way of reducing emissions.