Reform of succession rules 'inevitable'

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The Independent Online

The antics of the Princes have hastened an inevitable change in the law under which men take precedence over women in deciding the line of succession to the throne.

The antics of the Princes have hastened an inevitable change in the law under which men take precedence over women in deciding the line of succession to the throne.

The immediate effect of a change would be to elevate the Princess Royal five places up the royal pecking order, putting her fourth in line to the throne. Her two children by her marriage to Mark Phillips would also rise, at the expense of Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Ann Taylor, the former Labour chief whip, has tabled a Private Member's Bill to scrap the law of male primogeniture.

"It's one of those issues where it's so blindingly obvious what is right that it's ridiculous that nothing happens - but it gets put to the back to the queue," she said.

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, conceded on Friday that the law should be rewritten, but said that there is no urgency, as the reform would have no practical effect in the lifetime of Prince William.

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