A major historical development quietly came to pass yesterday when the The Succession To The Crown Act came into force. The new legislation has officially marked the end of male entitlement to inheriting the crown, and it will mean that if Kate and Wills welcome a baby girl next month, she won’t be able to be leapfrogged by any (potential) younger male siblings in the line of succession to the throne.
The act was ushered in ahead of Prince George’s birth in 2013, to ensure that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first child – if a girl – would be third in line to the throne, regardless of his or her gender.
Indeed, after 300 years of male progeniture, the law now states: 'The gender of a person born after 28 October 2011 does not give that person, or that person's descendants, precedence over any other person (whenever born).'
Other notable changes to the law are that a Roman Catholic can accede the thrown by marriage, and that only the first six in line to the throne now need permission from The Queen to marry.
Although The Act was passed in 2013 and approved by The Queen, all 16 Commonwealth States where she is head of state have now passed the necessary legislation in order for the law to come into effect there now, too.
On the announcement, Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg wrote: 'The act reflects this Government's emphasis on equality by removing centuries of discrimination on both religious and gender grounds.’
He added: ‘The act puts in place succession laws that are fit for the 21st century and for a modern constitutional monarchy.’
And we couldn’t agree more.