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The Perth Agreement was made in 2011 by the prime ministers of the sixteen states known as
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
s, which at the time all recognized
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Elizabeth II
as their head of state. The document agreed that the governments of the realms would amend their laws concerning the succession to their shared throne and related matters. The changes, in summary, comprised: * Replacing
male-preference primogeniture Primogeniture ( ) is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate child to inherit Inherit may refer to: * Inheritance, passing on of property after someone's death * Heredity, passing of genetic traits to offspring * Inheritance ( ...
(under which males take precedence over females in the royal succession) with
absolute primogeniture Primogeniture ( ) is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate child to inherit Inherit may refer to: * Inheritance, passing on of property after someone's death * Heredity, passing of genetic traits to offspring * Inheritance ( ...
(which does not distinguish sex as a succession criterion); * Ending disqualification of any person who had married
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
s; * Requiring that only the six people closest to the throne require the monarch's permission to marry. The ban on non-
Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, errors in the Catholic Church. Protestants originating in the Ref ...
becoming monarch and the requirement for them to be in communion with the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Critic ...
was not altered. The Agreement was signed in October 2011 in
Perth Perth () is the list of Australian capital cities, capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is Australia's list of cities in Australia by population, fourth-most populous city, with a population of 2.1 mi ...

Perth
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
, which hosted the biennial
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM; or) is a biennial Biennial means (an event) lasting for two years or occurring every two years. The related term biennium is used in reference to a period of two years. In particular, ...
("CHOGM"). The institutional and constitutional principles of Commonwealth realms are shared equally as enacted in the
Statute of Westminster 1931 The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and ...
, which made the process of implementing the agreement lengthy and complex. By December 2012, all the realm governments had agreed to enact it.
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
chaired a working group to determine the process. The Commonwealth realms – the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
,
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or ...

Jamaica
,
Barbados Barbados is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or c ...

Barbados
,
the Bahamas The Bahamas (), known officially as The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a sovereign country within the Lucayan Archipelago The Lucayan Archipelago (named for the original native Lucayan people The Lucayan () people were the original resid ...
,
Grenada Grenada ( ; Grenadian Creole French: ) is an island country in the West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "ea ...

Grenada
,
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania th ...

Papua New Guinea
, the
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, in ...
,
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
,
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia (, ; french: Sainte-Lucie) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group ...

Saint Lucia
,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines () is an island country in the Caribbean. It is located in the southeast Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, which lie in the West Indies at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea wh ...

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
,
Belize Belize () is a Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primari ...

Belize
,
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda (; ) is a sovereign state, sovereign island country in the West Indies in the Americas, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major islands, Antigua and Barbuda separated by , and smal ...
, and
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis (), officially the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity i ...
– are independent of each other, while sharing one person as monarch in a constitutionally equal fashion. The working group affirmed that, across all, appropriate laws were passed that relied for their coming into effect that such laws had been passed in all, and the
Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The Deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom (DPM) is a senior minister of the Crown Minister of the Crown is a formal constitutional term used in Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign sta ...
reiterated this on 26 March 2015.Statement by Nick Clegg MP, UK parliament website
26 March 2015 (retrieved on same date).
Statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Canada Providing Assent to Amendments to Rules Governing the Line of Succession
, 26 March 2015
Canada's law was challenged in court but has been upheld. On the day the changes came into effect in March 2015, the first of the persons affected by the headline provision were the children of Lady Davina Lewis; the succession positions of her son Tāne (born 2012) and daughter Senna (born 2010) were reversed, Tāne becoming 29th and Senna becoming 28th in line.


Background

Succession to the throne in each of the Commonwealth realms is governed both by
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
and statute. Under common law, the Crown was transmitted by
male-preference primogeniture Primogeniture ( ) is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate child to inherit Inherit may refer to: * Inheritance, passing on of property after someone's death * Heredity, passing of genetic traits to offspring * Inheritance ( ...
, under which succession passed first to the monarch's or nearest dynast's legitimate sons (and to their legitimate issue) in order of birth, and subsequently to their daughters and their legitimate issue, again in order of birth, so that sons always inherit before their sisters, elder children inherit before younger, and descendants inherit before collateral relatives. Succession is also governed by the
Acts of Union 1707 The Acts of Union ( gd, Achd an Aonaidh) were two Acts of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legisl ...
, which restates the provisions of the
Act of Settlement 1701 The Act of Settlement is an Acts of the Parliament of England, Act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the order of succession, succession to the List of English monarchs, English and List of Irish monarchs, Irish cr ...
, and the
Bill of Rights 1689 The Bill of Rights 1689, also known as the Bill of Rights 1688, is a landmark Act in the constitutional law Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a , namely, the , the ...
. These laws originally restricted the succession to legitimate descendants of
Sophia, Electress of Hanover Sophia of Hanover (born Princess Sophia of the Palatinate; 14 October 1630 – 8 June 1714) was a Bohemian A Bohemian () is a resident of Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest histo ...

Sophia, Electress of Hanover
(the mother of George I), and debar those who are Roman Catholics or who have married Roman Catholics. The descendants of those who are debarred for being or marrying Roman Catholics, however, may still be eligible to succeed. By a
convention Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm) A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated, or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms, or criteria, often taking the form of a custom. In a social context, a convention may retain the ch ...

convention
made explicit in the preamble to the
Statute of Westminster 1931 The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and ...
, the line of succession cannot be altered in any realm without the assent of the parliaments of the other 15 realms. Challenges had been made against the Act of Settlement, especially its provisions regarding Roman Catholics and preference for males. In Canada, where the Act of Settlement is part of
Canadian constitutional law Canadian constitutional law () is the area of Canadian law relating to the interpretation and application of the Constitution of Canada by the Court system of Canada, courts. All laws of Canada, both provincial and federal, must conform to the Cons ...
,
Tony O'Donohue Anthony "Tony" O'Donohue (born 1933) is a former municipal politician in Toronto, Ontario. Early life Born in The Burren, County Clare, Ireland (then Irish Free State), O'Donohue graduated as a civil engineer from National University of Ireland, G ...
, a Canadian civic politician, took issue with the provisions that exclude Roman Catholics from the throne and which make the
monarch of Canada The monarchy of Canada is the institution in which a person serves as Canada's sovereign and head of state, on a hereditary basis. It is at the core of Canada's constitutional Canadian federalism, federal structure and Westminster system, Westmin ...
the
Supreme Governor of the Church of England The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is the Titular ruler, titular head of the Church of England, a position which is vested in the British monarch. Queen and Church > Queen and Church of England">The Monarchy Today > Queen and State > Q ...
. In 2002, O'Donohue launched a court action that argued the Act of Settlement violates the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms The ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms'' (french: La Charte canadienne des droits et libertés), often simply referred to as the ''Charter'' in Canada, is a bill of rights A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights ...
, but the case was dismissed by the court. In the United Kingdom, from time to time there had been debate over repealing the clause that prevents "
Papist The words Popery (adjective Popish) and Papism (adjective Papist) are mainly historical pejorative words in the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages ar ...
s" (Roman Catholics) or those who marry one from ascending to the British throne. The
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; Scots language, Scots: ''Scots Pairlament'') is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, Unicameralism, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood, Edinburgh, Holyro ...

Scottish Parliament
unanimously passed a motion in 1999 calling for the complete removal of any discrimination linked to the monarchy and the repeal of the Act of Settlement. A
private member's bill A private member's bill in a parliamentary system of government is a bill (proposed law) introduced into a legislature by a legislator who is not acting on behalf of the executive branch. The designation "private member's bill" is used in most We ...
—the Succession to the Crown Bill—was introduced in the House of Lords in December 2004. The government, headed by
Tony Blair Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party (UK), Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. On his resig ...

Tony Blair
, however, blocked all attempts to revise the succession laws, claiming it would raise too many constitutional issues and it was unnecessary at the time. The issue was raised again in January 2009, when a private member's bill to amend the Act of Succession was introduced in parliament. British
Labour Labour or labor may refer to: * Childbirth Childbirth, also known as labour or delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves the uterus by passing through the vagina or by Caesarean section. In 2015, there were about 13 ...
Member of Parliament
Keith Vaz Nigel Keith Anthony Standish Vaz (born 26 November 1956) is a British Labour Party (UK), Labour Party politician who served as the Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester East (UK Parliament constituency), ...
introduced to the House of Commons at Westminster, in early 2011, a private member's bill, which proposed that the Act of Settlement be amended to remove the provisions relating to Roman Catholicism and change primogeniture governing the line of
succession to the British throne Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, sex, legitimacy, and religion. Under common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and sim ...
from male-preference to absolute.


Proposals in 2011


Line of succession

In 2011, the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,
Nick Clegg Sir Nicholas William Peter Clegg (born 7 January 1967) is a British media executive and former politician who has been VicePresident for Global Affairs and Communications at Meta Platforms since 2018, having previously served as Deputy Prime ...

Nick Clegg
, announced that the British government was considering a change in the law. At about the same time, it was reported that Prime Minister David Cameron had written to the prime ministers of each of the other 15 Commonwealth realms, asking for their support in changing the succession to absolute primogeniture, and notifying them he would raise his proposals at that year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in
Perth Perth () is the list of Australian capital cities, capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is Australia's list of cities in Australia by population, fourth-most populous city, with a population of 2.1 mi ...

Perth
, Western Australia. While discussions took place during the summit, it was an agenda ''side accord,'' as most Commonwealth member states do not have a
monarchical A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy, political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from restricted and large ...
form of government - the across-the-board function of
Head of the Commonwealth Head of the Commonwealth is a title used by the ceremonial leader who symbolises "the free association of independent member nations" of the Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, i ...
is to convene together nations and celebrate plans, projects, agreements and initiatives between all its members. At CHOGM on 28 October 2011, the prime ministers of the other Commonwealth realms agreed to support the proposed changes. The proposed changes were to replace male preference primogeniture with absolute primogeniture for all persons in the line of succession born after 28 October 2011, end the disqualification of those who married Catholics, and limit the requirement for those in line to the throne to acquire permission of the sovereign to marry. The prohibition on Roman Catholics becoming monarch would remain. The bill put before the Parliament of the United Kingdom would act as a model for the legislation required to be passed in at least some of the other realms.
The Queen In the United Kingdom and fourteen other Commonwealth Realms, The Queen refers to: * Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly ...

The Queen
was understood to support the changes. Cameron stated: "The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he is a man, or that a future monarch can marry someone of any faith except a Catholic—this way of thinking is at odds with the modern countries that we have become." On the question of continued requirements that the sovereign be a Protestant, Cameron added, "Let me be clear, the monarch must be in communion with the Church of England because he or she is the head of that Church."


Royal marriage

Along with the changes in the succession law, Cameron proposed that the necessity for royal consent to marriages in the royal family should be limited to the first six people in line to the throne. Under the
Royal Marriages Act 1772 The Royal Marriages Act 1772 was an Act of Parliament, act of the Parliament of Great Britain which prescribed the conditions under which members of the British royal family could contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages th ...
, almost every descendant of King George II needed the Queen's permission to marry, which by 2011 was thousands of people. While the Royal Marriages Act 1772 was in force, marrying without permission made the marriage void. Under the proposed new law, any already formalised marriage that was deemed invalid under the 1772 Act would be retrospectively legalised; descendants of such a marriage would however remain excluded from the line of succession to the throne, to ensure that the validity of the descent of the Crown from King George II down to the present day could not be affected by the changes. These changes were approved by the other Commonwealth leaders.


Commentary

Cameron's proposals were supported by the Prime Minister of Australia,
Julia Gillard Julia Eileen Gillard (born 29 September 1961) is an Australian former politician who served as the 27th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the hig ...

Julia Gillard
, who said she was "very enthusiastic about it. You would expect the first Australian woman prime minister to be very enthusiastic about a change which equals equality for women in a new area." Canadian prime minister
Stephen Harper Stephen Joseph Harper (born April 30, 1959) is a Canadian politician who served as the 22nd prime minister of Canada from 2006 to 2015. Harper won three mandates during Premiership of Stephen Harper, his nearly decade-long tenure, and is ...
described himself "supportive" of the reforms as "obvious modernizations". The
Monarchist League of Canada The Monarchist League of Canada (french: Ligue monarchiste du Canada) is a Canadian nonprofit monarchist Monarchism is the advocacy of the system of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government A government is t ...
also expressed favour for the plan, as did
Monarchy New Zealand Monarchy New Zealand is a national, non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation whose purpose is to promote, support and defend the constitutional monarchy, constitutional monarchy of New Zealand. In addition to the general public, the organisati ...
. A poll carried out by Forum Research in February 2013 found that 73% of Canadians polled "agreed with the change, which would permit a first-born female to become queen even if she had brothers." Scottish First Minister
Alex Salmond Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond (; born 31 December 1954) is a Scottish politician serving as leader of the Alba Party The Alba Party is a Scottish nationalism, Scottish nationalist and Scottish independence, pro-independence political par ...

Alex Salmond
was more critical, saying: "It is deeply disappointing that the reform has stopped short of removing the unjustifiable barrier on a Catholic becoming monarch." While welcoming the gender equality reforms, ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sun ...

The Guardian
'' also criticised the failure to remove the ban on Catholics sitting on the throne as "fanning a religious hostility the rest of Europe was already growing beyond." A representative of the British campaigning group
Republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...
said monarchical succession is inherently biased and "To suggest that this has anything to do with equality is utterly absurd," an opinion echoed by
Citizens for a Canadian Republic Citizens for a Canadian Republic (French language, French: ''Citoyens et Citoyennes pour une République Canadienne'') (CCR) is a Canadian advocacy group founded in 2002 that advocates the replacement of the Monarchy of Canada, Canadian monarchy ...
. Robert Hazell and Bob Morris pointed out that "the realms were free to alter their constitutions without reference to the UK, but the UK could not do so on this occasion without seeking the realms' consent; the realms were relatively freer to alter their constitutions than was the UK itself" and that this inversion of the constitutional situation under imperialism was surprising to some. However, as a corollary, they pointed to Peter Boyce's earlier assertion in ''The Queen's Other Realms: The Crown and Its Legacy in Australia, Canada and New Zealand'' that the fact that the change in the succession was initiated by the United Kingdom government was a reminder to the other Commonwealth realms that "their crown is derivative, if not subordinate" to the crown of the United Kingdom.


Legislative processes

The Cabinet Secretary of New Zealand chaired a working group to discuss the best way of accomplishing the reforms in all the Commonwealth realms. The realms agreed that the United Kingdom would be the first to draft legislation, but that it would not be introduced without the agreement of the other realms and would not be commenced until the appropriate domestic arrangements were in place in the other realms. On 2 December 2012, the British government received final agreement in writing from the governments of the other 15 Commonwealth realms regarding all three elements of the reform. On 4 December 2012, the day after the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy was announced, Clegg announced this final agreement, adding that the other realm governments had confirmed that they would be "able to take the necessary measures in their own countries." While some realms deferred to the British legislation, a number of the other realms passed their own laws effecting the changes in succession.


Australia

The English
Bill of Rights 1689 The Bill of Rights 1689, also known as the Bill of Rights 1688, is a landmark Act in the constitutional law Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role, powers, and structure of different entities within a , namely, the , the ...
and
Act of Settlement 1701 The Act of Settlement is an Acts of the Parliament of England, Act of the Parliament of England that was passed in 1701 to settle the order of succession, succession to the List of English monarchs, English and List of Irish monarchs, Irish cr ...
are, and the
Royal Marriages Act 1772 The Royal Marriages Act 1772 was an Act of Parliament, act of the Parliament of Great Britain which prescribed the conditions under which members of the British royal family could contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages th ...
was, incorporated into Australian law, and the Act of Settlement is part of the laws of the Australian states and territories, and therefore not only Australia but also its states had to change their laws. At a meeting of the
Council of Australian Governments The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) was the primary intergovernmental forum in Australia from 1992 to 2020. Comprising the Government of Australia, federal government, the governments of the States and territories of Australia, six st ...
(COAG) in mid-December 2012, the then prime minister,
Julia Gillard Julia Eileen Gillard (born 29 September 1961) is an Australian former politician who served as the 27th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the hig ...

Julia Gillard
, and the premiers of five states agreed each state legislature would pass a law permitting the federal parliament to alter the line of succession for the Commonwealth and all the states. However,
Queensland Premier The premier of Queensland is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government th ...
Campbell Newman Campbell Kevin Thomas Newman (born 12 August 1963) is a retired Australian politician who served as the 38th Premier of Queensland from 26 March 2012 to 14 February 2015. A member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP), he served as ...
disagreed, citing Section 7 of the
Australia Act 1986 The Australia Act 1986 is the short title of each of a pair of separate but related pieces of legislation: one an Act of the Commonwealth (i.e. federal) Parliament of Australia The Parliament of Australia (officially the Federal Pa ...

Australia Act 1986
and concluding from it that each state is sovereign and each should therefore pass its own legislation affecting the succession laws in its jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Queensland state government introduced its own Succession to the Crown Bill in the
Legislative Assembly of Queensland The Legislative Assembly of Queensland is the sole chamber of the unicameral Parliament of Queensland established under the Constitution of Queensland. Elections are held every four years and are done by full preferential voting. The Assembly h ...
on 13 February 2013. The federal government stated that if Queensland were to proceed, it would override the state's legislation in favour of national legislation. Following an agreement at a COAG meeting in April 2013, Queensland on 2 May amended its bill to add permission for the Commonwealth to act and the bill passed the same day. In November 2014, during a debate on the Succession to the Crown Bill in Western Australia, when the then
Premier Premier is a title for the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, aut ...
Colin Barnett Colin James Barnett (born 15 July 1950) is a former Australian politician who was the 29th Premier of Western Australia. He had previously served as the state's Treasurer of Western Australia, Treasurer, as well as holding various other portfoli ...
was asked why Western Australia was taking so long to proceed with the necessary legislation, he replied: "I concede that it has taken a while, but there has been no particular reason for that. Western Australia had an election, and I guess that slowed things down a little bit, and in a practical sense, given that the immediacy had gone out of the matter and given that the next three people in line to the monarchy are males, it did not arise." In February 2015 the Attorney-General, Michael Mischin, acknowledged "it is significantly overdue but that is just one of the facts of life." Western Australia finally passed its legislation on 3 March 2015. The
Australian parliament The Parliament of Australia (officially the Federal Parliament, also called the Commonwealth Parliament) is the legislative branch A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind o ...

Australian parliament
passed the Succession to the Crown Act on 19 March 2015 and royal assent was granted on 24 March 2015. The change to the succession law in the United Kingdom finally came into effect on 26 March 2015. The
Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, ...
government introduced a bill to request the federal parliament to change the law relating to royal succession in similar terms. On second reading it was explained that the Northern Territory's request or consent to the federal parliament enactment was not constitutionally necessary but that the government of the Northern Territory considered it desirable that arrangements in the Northern Territory would mirror those between the Australian Commonwealth and its states.


Canada

The Act of Settlement 1701, the Bill of Rights 1689, and
His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 (1 Edw. 8 & 1 Geo. 6 c. 3) was the Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assem ...
are part of the laws of Canada. The Canadian government's Succession to the Throne Act, 2013, with the long title ''An Act to assent to alterations in the law touching the Succession to the Throne, 2013'', was tabled in the
House of Commons of Canada The House of Commons of Canada (french: Chambre des communes du Canada) is the lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament of Canada, which also comprises the Monarchy of Canada, sovereign (represented by the Governor General of Canada, governor ...
as Bill C-53 on 31 January 2013 and passed by that body on 4 February. It was then approved by the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...

Senate
on 26 March 2013 and received royal assent on the following day. It came into force on 26 March 2015. The act gives assent to Succession to the Crown Bill 2013 that had been laid before the United Kingdom parliament (later, after amendment, to be given royal assent there on 25 April 2013 as the Succession to the Crown Act 2013). The position taken by the federal Cabinet was that Canada has no royal succession laws, the country's monarch being automatically whoever is monarch of the United Kingdom, and the Canadian parliament need only assent to the changes made to the laws of succession in the United Kingdom by that realm's parliament, which can be achieved by ordinary legislation, without the approval of the provinces. There is disagreement over this process, mainly on whether the rules of succession involve the office of the Queen, thus requiring a constitutional amendment under Section 41(a) of the
Constitution Act, 1982 The ''Constitution Act, 1982'' (french: link=no, Loi constitutionnelle de 1982) is a part of the Constitution of Canada The Constitution of Canada (french: Constitution du Canada) is the supreme law of Canada, law in Canada. It outlines C ...
; whether, by the principle of either received law, by statute law, or both, the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Settlement, and the related to royal succession are a part of the Canadian constitution; and whether the Canadian law assented to the Succession to the Crown Bill 2012 as had been presented to the United Kingdom parliament or as amended by that body and passed into law.


Judicial review

There was some speculation in the press before the birth of
Prince George of Cambridge Prince George of Cambridge (George Alexander Louis; born 22 July 2013) is a member of the British royal family. He is the eldest child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and is third in the line of suc ...

Prince George of Cambridge
about Canada having a different line of succession to the other realms if the Canadian law is eventually found to be unconstitutional. An application was made to the
Ontario Superior Court of Justice The Superior Court of Justice (French: ''Cour supérieure de justice'') is a superior court In common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi ...
seeking to find the Succession to the Throne Act, 2013, unconstitutional due to allegedly contravening both section 2 of the Canada Act 1982 and section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The charter challenge was dismissed as non-justiciable in August 2013. In August 2014, the
Court of Appeal for Ontario The Court of Appeal for Ontario (frequently referred to as the Ontario Court of Appeal or ONCA) is the appellate court An appellate court, commonly called an ''appeals court'', ''court of appeals'' (American English American English ( ...
upheld the lower court decision on the ground that succession rules are not subject to the charter of rights and that the applicant had no standing to bring the challenge as he has no connection with the Royal Family. The validity of the Canadian parliament's legislation came under
judicial review Judicial review is a process under which executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, ...
in the
Quebec Superior Court The Superior Court of Quebec (french: Cour supérieure du Québec) is a superior Superior may refer to: *Superior (hierarchy) In a hierarchy A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objec ...
over, among other matters, its alleged failure to "follow the amending procedure" set out in section 41 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The Attorney-General of Quebec joined as an intervener in support of the challenge. The court hearing began on 1 June 2015. On 16 February 2016, the court ruled Canada "did not have to change its laws nor its Constitution for the British royal succession rules to be amended and effective". The ruling was appealed by the plaintiffs and was heard by the
Quebec Court of Appeal The Court of Appeal of Quebec (sometimes referred to as Quebec Court of Appeal or QCA) (in French: ''la Cour d'appel du Québec'') is the highest judicial court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A govern ...
in February 2018. The court released its decision upholding the lower court judgement on 28 October 2019. In December 2019, the appellants filed an application with the
Supreme Court of Canada Supreme may refer to: * Supreme (brand), a clothing brand based in New York * Supreme (comics), a comic book superhero * Supreme (cookery), a term used in cookery * Supreme (film), ''Supreme'' (film), a 2016 Telugu film * Supreme (producer), hip-h ...

Supreme Court of Canada
seeking
leave to appeal In law, an appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed by a higher authority, where parties request a formal change to an official decision. Appeals function both as a process for error correction as well as a process of clarifying an ...
the Quebec Court of Appeal's decision. In April 2020, the Supreme Court declined to grant leave to appeal, bringing the matter to an end.


New Zealand

The Bill of Rights 1688 and Act of Settlement 1701 are, and The Royal Marriages Act 1772 was, part of the laws of New Zealand. The Royal Succession Bill was introduced to the Parliament of New Zealand by Justice Minister
Judith Collins Judith Anne Collins (born 24 February 1959) is a New Zealand politician who served as the Leader of the Opposition (New Zealand), Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the New Zealand National Party from 14 July 2020 to 25 November 2021. She w ...

Judith Collins
on 18 February 2013 and received royal assent on 17 December 2013. The act removed the Royal Marriages Act 1772 as a law of New Zealand and amended the Bill of Rights 1688 and Act of Settlement 1701, as well as the
Imperial Laws Application Act 1988 The Imperial Laws Application Act 1988 is an important part of Constitution of New Zealand, New Zealand's uncodified constitution. The Act applies certain enactments of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and its predecessors, rulings of the Ju ...
.


United Kingdom

On 4 December 2012, the British Deputy Prime Minister
Nick Clegg Sir Nicholas William Peter Clegg (born 7 January 1967) is a British media executive and former politician who has been VicePresident for Global Affairs and Communications at Meta Platforms since 2018, having previously served as Deputy Prime ...

Nick Clegg
announced that the government would introduce a bill to parliament as soon as possible. The bill was introduced to parliament on 13 December 2012 and passed the House of Commons on 28 January 2013. The
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
Constitution Committee The Constitution Committee is a cross-party select committee of the House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament ...
opposed the government's plans to fast-track the bill, which led to the government's decision to observe normal legislative time limits in the House of Lords. The act received royal assent on 25 April 2013, passing into law, but its provisions altering the law of succession would not come into force until a time to be formally appointed by the
Lord President of the Council The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State (United Kingdom), Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking below the Lord High Treasurer but above the Lord Privy Seal, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal. ...
(another office held by Clegg). When publishing the proposed legislation the government had announced that it was expecting to bring the provisions into force at the same time as the other realms would be bringing into force any changes to their legislation or other changes necessary for them to implement the Perth Agreement.


Caribbean realms

According to
the Lord Wallace of Tankerness James Robert Wallace, Baron Wallace of Tankerness, , FRSE Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy of science and Literature, let ...
, who sponsored the British government's Succession to the Crown Bill in the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
, the governments of Jamaica and Belize had outlined that neither country will require domestic legislation to give effect to changes to the lines of succession to their thrones, as those lines were left by Belize's and Jamaica's constitutions to law of the United Kingdom. Wallace said on 13 March 2013 that the British government expected that the parliaments of Jamaica and Belize would not be consulted further by their governments. Of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, it was also said by Lord Wallace of Tankerness: "We believe that it would be open to the other Caribbean realms to take a similar view s Jamaica and Belize but it is, of course, for them to decide how best to give the changes effect." The parliament of Barbados passed the Succession to the Throne Act, 2013, which signified the legislature's acquiescence to the British Succession to the Crown Bill 2013.


Other Pacific realms

On 13 March 2013, Lord Wallace of Tankerness said that the countries of Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands would not require amendments to their constitutions as the wording of each explicitly state that the heirs and successors to the monarch in each realm are the same as those to the monarch of the United Kingdom. Papua New Guinea's and the Solomon Islands' constitutions both state that the references to the Queen "extend to Her Majesty's heirs and successors in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", while Tuvalu's constitution states that " e provisions of this Constitution referring to the Sovereign extend, in accordance with section 13 (references to the Sovereign of Tuvalu) of Schedule 1, to the Heirs and Successors of the Sovereign according to law" and a reference to the sovereign of Tuvalu "shall be read as including a reference to (a) the Sovereign of the United Kingdom; or (b) any person exercising the whole or the relevant part of the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, as the case requires, in accordance with the law in force in England."


Changes effected

The prime ministers' commitment to bring forward measures for the changes to be effective simultaneously was accomplished on 26 March 2015 by orders commencing the legislation passed in seven of the realms: Australia, Barbados, Canada, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom. The remaining realms (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, St Lucia, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu) concluded that legislation was not necessary.


Timetable


First six in line

The new rules of succession require only the first six persons in line to the throne to have the sovereign's approval to marry. the first six persons are: #
Charles, Prince of Wales Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of ind ...

Charles, Prince of Wales
, eldest son of the Queen (currently married) # Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, elder son of the Prince of Wales (currently married) #
Prince George of Cambridge Prince George of Cambridge (George Alexander Louis; born 22 July 2013) is a member of the British royal family. He is the eldest child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and is third in the line of suc ...

Prince George of Cambridge
, elder son of the Duke of Cambridge (below marriageable age) # Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, daughter of the Duke of Cambridge (below marriageable age) # Prince Louis of Cambridge, younger son of the Duke of Cambridge (below marriageable age) # Prince Harry, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, younger son of the Prince of Wales (currently married)


See also

* Royal Succession Bills and Acts


References


External links


House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee: Rules of Royal Succession

"Statement" of Friday 28 October 2011 issued at Perth, as published in the United Kingdom, Annex 1, page 10
{{Commonwealth of Nations key documents Perth Agreement, Commonwealth realms British monarchy Monarchy in Canada Monarchy in Australia Monarchy in New Zealand Monarchy in Belize Monarchy of Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional laws of the United Kingdom Monarchy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Jamaica and the Commonwealth of Nations Tuvalu and the Commonwealth of Nations Solomon Islands and the Commonwealth of Nations Barbados and the Commonwealth of Nations Bahamas and the Commonwealth of Nations Papua New Guinea and the Commonwealth of Nations Saint Lucia and the Commonwealth of Nations Grenada and the Commonwealth of Nations 2011 in international relations 2011 in politics 2010s in Perth, Western Australia Succession acts