Primogeniture – less than primo
October 16, 2011 by kiwian
Today I read a really interesting article on the internet. Over at the Telegraph they reported that English Prime Minister David Cameron has written to the leaders of Commonwealth countries to tell them he wants to change centuries-old laws regarding royal ascension because of their discrimination.
Noun: 1. the state of being the firstborn child.
2. Law the system of inheritance or succession by the firstborn,
specifically the eldest son.
In England royalty a son succeeds (to the throne) before a daughter, irrespective of age. So an elder daughter must give up succession to a younger son, because he’s a male. As Cameron is quoted as saying
We espouse gender equality in all other aspects of life, and it is an anomaly that in the rules relating to the highest public office we continue to enshrine male superiority.
Of course espousing equality and taking deliberate steps to achieve it are two different things. I’m surprised that it’s taken someone this long to do something about it, and surprised that I haven’t heard more about it in the news. I guess it’ll probably take a decade or so before the official change is made, but it’s a really positive first step.
Traditionally princesses are there to look beautiful, be models of grace, elegance, obedience, etc. Just look at the Disneys – princesses a-plenty, but where are the queens? Pretty much all are either dead or evil, while chivalrous princes grow into wise and powerful kings.
Here’s to educating children to be effective and compassionate adults, whatever their gender!