Finally! Yesterday, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, it was announced that the decision was been taken that from now on, girls will be equal to boys in the succession. Previously, boys would succeed before their older sisters simply by virtue of being male.
Male primogeniture has no place in modern society but it’s taken a long time to fix this. There have been numerous attempts in the past but it’s not as simple an issue as you might imagine. There is a lot of legislation which needs to be changed, including the 1701 Act of Settlement and the 1771 Royal Marriages Act. The changes also need the consent of the other realms, which are the other countries in the world where the Queen is Head of State.
I think it probably would have been changed years ago if it wasn’t for the fact that the next three people in the succession are men anyway and wouldn’t be displaced by women if the rules changed.
The ban on royals marrying Catholics will also change, but they still can’t be Catholics. Hopefully that changes soon too, it’s very outdated. Once Prince Charles succeeds he’s said he will be ‘Defender of the Faiths’ rather than ‘Defender of the Faith’ so maybe then.