Australia Stalls Royal Succession Laws Amendment

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By Athena Yenko | February 28, 2014 3:31 PM EST

British government minister said that Australia is stalling amendment to royal succession laws which favours sons over daughters. The amendment would entail that daughters/sisters will no longer be overtaken by sons/brothers in the line of succession. This amendment will apply to any descendants of Charles - Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son - born from that date onwards.

The amendment also now allows anyone marrying a Roman Catholic to maintain their place in the line of succession.

With the amendment, those in line asking permission to marry will only have to gain approval from six monarchs.

There are 16 Commonwealth realms which share the same royal family and the amendment will only take effect when all realms have consent to the changes.

The 16 Commonwealth realms are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Britain, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

All other realms had ratified the law except for Australia.

The other Commonwealth realms concurred to the changes after marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton sufficed in April 2011. The agreement happened in principle by prime ministers at the Commonwealth summit which happened in Perth, Oct 28 2011.

When asked if any of the realms can abstain from the Perth agreement, Jim Wallace, the deputy leader of the House of Lords explained that all 16 Commonwealth realms must unanimously change laws. If one abstains, there is possibility of having different monarchs in different countries - a situation that should be avoided.

"The intention is that when all 16 realms have agreed or put in place the necessary legislation there will be a simultaneous order to give effect in each of the realms. All realms that took the view that legislation is required have passed the necessary legislation apart from Australia," Mr Wallace explained.

The Australian law requires that all states complete passing new laws that support the change in the royal succession laws before legislation happen in Canberra.

 "To date, three states have enacted legislation, two have introduced legislation and one, South Australia, has yet to introduce legislation but it is in the middle of an election campaign," Mr Wallace added.

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