Speaking of Women's Rights: Congratulations! It’s a Queen!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Congratulations! It’s a Queen!

By Guest Blogger Lily Hereford

Finally.  Parliament is getting with the times. 

Bye-bye, puffy wigs

I’m kidding, of course.  I think they still wear those. 

What I’m actually referring to is royal succession reform.  The British Prime Minister finally proposed changing the laws of succession so that age – and age alone – will determine who inherits the crown.  The reform would end centuries-old discrimination against royal daughters.

Currently, the line of succession is controlled by “male primogeniture.”  No, that’s not a disease.  Well, not literally.  It means the firstborn son will inherit the throne – even if he’s not the firstborn child.  To put this in context: If the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate) have a daughter, followed by a son, their daughter won’t get to be queen, despite her being the oldest.  As soon as little brother is born, he cuts big sister in line.  Typical

If it isn’t obvious, the current rules do not treat men and women equally.  They’re out-dated, unjustified, and send a bad message.  The British monarch is both Head of State and Head of Nation – roles that carry important duties.  Among these duties are providing a focus for national identity, unity and pride and representing Britain to the rest of the world. By favoring firstborn sons, the current rules say on behalf of Britain: “Ideally we’d represent ourselves through one of our men, but if there aren’t any in the family, I guess one of our women will do.” 

It’s definitely time for a change. 

After all, a queen is just as good as a king, card games aside.  Consider the present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned for nearly six decades. Or Elizabeth I, who ruled The Golden Age.  I’d say queens have a pretty good track record so far. 

I mean, Bloody Marys are delicious.

Yes, it’s hard to believe that queens have been a last resort for so long.  BUT, if these new rules of succession become official – and, Will & Kate’s first child is a baby girl – then FINALLY, we’ll be able to exclaim:

 “Congratulations! It’s a queen!”

Lily Hereford is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and is currently interning at the California Attorney General's Office in San Francisco, CA.  When not fighting for women's rights, she spends her time eating and/or hanging out with friends.