Lawmakers say it would be the perfect wedding gift — changing Britain's rules of succession so any daughter born to Prince William and wife-to-be Kate Middleton would enjoy an equal right to the throne. Lawmaker Keith Vaz is leading a House of Commons debate Tuesday calling for an overhaul of the 300-year-old procedures. The system currently gives sons an automatic preference over older female siblings to succeed to the British throne.
"With the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, we have a once in a generation opportunity to change the law," said Vaz. "Prince William looks like a very modern prince. If he has a daughter first, it is only right that she become queen of England." Prince William, 28, is the eldest son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. As such, William is second-in-line to the crown held by his grandmother Queen Elizabeth.
Vaz needs government backing to have any chance of success in amending the succession law.
The former Labour government had promised to reform the ancient legislation, but had made little progress before it was ousted from power in last May's national election.
Prime Minister David Cameron's office has said that reform would be "complex and difficult."
The incoming coalition government has shown scant enthusiasm for change, not least because to do so requires the agreement of 15 independent British Commonwealth countries which share Queen Elizabeth as their sovereign.
Last week justice minister Tom McNally said the government had no plans to amend the Act of Settlement, but said discussions among Commonwealth countries about the issue were continuing under the chairmanship of New Zealand.