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Royal Succession Bill passes first reading

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

2 July 2013

Royal Succession Bill passes first reading

A Bill clearing the way for changes to laws setting out the line of Royal succession to the throne has passed its first reading in Parliament today.

The Royal Succession Bill implements changes to the rules of succession that were agreed in 2011 by the 16 Realms who share the Queen as Head of State.

Ms Collins says the changes ensure the order of succession will no longer be based on gender, allowing an elder daughter to precede a younger son as heir to the throne.

“This new rule will apply to any children in the Royal line of succession born after 28 October 2011. This means the change will apply to the child of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, due shortly.”

The new rules will allow a person married to a Roman Catholic to become King or Queen, but will not allow a Catholic to accede to the throne. The rules requiring the Sovereign to swear an oath to maintain the Protestant religion remain.

The Bill also removes the requirement that members of the Royal family must seek the Sovereign’s permission to marry, and instead requires just the first six in line to the throne to seek consent to marry.

Ms Collins says the Bill is needed to make changes to New Zealand law because any changes to United Kingdom laws do not automatically apply here.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in the issue to have their say by making a submission to the select committee that will now consider the Bill,” Ms Collins says.


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