Thursday, 6 December 2012

Equality in succession

No sooner had the dust settled on Kate Middleton's uterus than it was announced that the long-awaited change to royal succession laws has been approved by all 16 “realms of the commonwealth.”

This long awaited change marked a crucial step in the liberalisation of the UK, as the position of head of state is no longer granted to the oldest male child of the current monarch, with no election or debate, to rule over us until death. Now, the monarchy is granted to the oldest child regardless of sex...with no election or debate, to rule over us until death.

It's claimed the bill “ends the discrimination of women in royal succession”, but this isn't strictly accurate. 99.9percent of women in the UK are still discriminated when it comes to the monarchy, so are 99.9percent of men. The long process of changing the rules of succession was embarked upon for the benefit of no living person. In nine months we will see whether or not it will become relevant after the death of William, but there's a 50percent chance it won't.

With the royal pregnancy marking the inevitable next step in the world's most upmarket soap opera, it almost feels like these archaic sponges are spawning offspring for the purpose of pissing off republicans, and keeping their personal lives in the media for a few minutes longer. Soon there will be the messy divorce, and the inevitable appearance on I'm a Celebrity... I'm dreading the live birth, with military parade and tedious Huw Edwards commentary.

If you're going to defend an institution like the monarchy, it's probably because of tradition. If you're going to tinker with it and change the rules, you're acknowledging that we can alter the way we choose our head of state to suit our times. With this in mind, it seems like now is the time to put an end to the monarchy. People argue it creates unity and patriotism, but perhaps people would feel greater allegiance to their country if it recognised their eligibility to be head of state. This change makes no difference to anyone who is currently alive. If the government cares about equal opportunities, it should abolish the monarchy so anyone has the chance to be head of state, regardless of gender, race, social class, religion, sexual orientation or political views, so we can proudly say we have more chance of being king or queen than a foetus.

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