At last. At long, long, last.
The UK's Royal Succession laws have been altered to give equal gender and religious equalities where they did not exist previously.
As this BBC News Website article states, the leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is head of state have unanimously approved the changes at a summit in Perth, Australia. Sons and daughters of any future British monarch will therefore have equal right to the throne. The ban on the monarch being married to a Roman Catholic has also been lifted.
Such a farcical anomaly should've been put right decades ago when equality legislation was being passed by Parliament in the 1970s.
The Monarchy has been pulled kicking and screaming into the 21st century with this long overdue decision. Of course, for many, this isn't enough. For a truly meritocratic nation, surely we should be a Republic? Yes, I can't argue with that. But I'm a pragmatist in such things. At the moment I'm a 'better the devil you know' realist and am happy to see the monarchy continue into the foreseeable future. Controversial and against the views of many of my liberal colleagues? I'm sure. But hey, this is my opinion.
Speaking of the future, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children will now fall into line with this new status so if William and Kate's first child is a girl and not a boy, then it is likely (if the Monarchy survives to such a date) then that our future Monarch, like her great-grandmother, will be a Queen Regnant.
The change to the marriage law is also greatly welcome. To discriminate against Catholics in such a way as to not allow them to marry the Monarch as has been the case since 1688 is absolute folly. Repealing this ban is long overdue but welcome for it.
These are small additional blows for gender and religious equality, but important ones all the same.
Since I wrote this blog post earlier today, Stephen Glenn has written this excellent counter-factual blog post on the history of the Monarchy had males and females had equality to succeed to the Throne throughout the ages. I highly commend it to you to read. My favourite counter-factual? Kaiser Willhelm II of Germany reigning as King William V of the British Empire - only in counter-factual 'what if' scenarios could such a thing have been possible!