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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February 2005, 11:02 GMT
Succession to the Crown (1) Bill
Main Provisions

This bill removes the condition in the 1689 Bill of Rights that a monarch may not marry a Roman Catholic - or so-called papist - and other non-Anglicans.

Origin: House of Lords
Introduced: 08 December 2004
After that the Bill was withdraw
It is a tentative effort to amend one of the oldest active pieces of legislation in the United Kingdom.

The provision in the 17th Century Bill of Rights was designed to ensure that only protestant descendants of Sophia, Electress of Hanover, could succeed to the English Crown.

The bill also has to amend several other historical acts, namely the Union with Scotland Act 1706, the Union with England Act 1707 and the Royal Marriages Act 1772, which all reinforced the papist rule.

It would also remove the rules that mean that sons take precedence over daughters in the right of succession.

"In determining the line of succession to the Crown and to all rights, privileges and dignities belonging thereto no account shall be taken of gender, notwithstanding any previous custom or rule of law to the contrary", says the bill.

Removing sons' precedence over daughters the bill will guarantee that the right of succession belongs to the eldest son.

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