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Royal succession laws come into force

Royal succession laws come into force


Legislation modernising rules applying to Royal succession to the throne came into force today in New Zealand and in the 16 Realms that share the Queen as Head of State.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says the Royal Succession Act makes three specific changes to the Royal succession rules:

the order of succession will no longer be based on gender and will allow an elder daughter to precede a younger son as heir to the throne. This rule will apply to any children in the line of succession born after 28 October 2011.
a person married to a Roman Catholic will be able to accede to the throne
seeking the Sovereign’s permission to marry, which currently applies to all members of the royal family, will be limited only to the first six in line to the throne.

“These changes help improve the rules of succession and reflect modern values such as gender equality, which is positive for New Zealand’s system of government,” says Ms Adams.

The Act was passed in 2013 to put in place changes that were agreed in 2011 by the 16 Realms. However, the date that the main provisions of the Act take effect needed to be coordinated with the other Realms, once they had all made the necessary arrangements, such as passing similar legislation.

“It’s important that the legislation came into force in a co-ordinated way with the other Realms. All Realms, including New Zealand, must have the same succession laws,” says Ms Adams.

While the provisions come into force today, the first change is effectively backdated. The new ‘gender neutral’ rule applies to royals born after 28 October 2011, when the changes were agreed between the Realms.

ends

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