Saturday, March 28, 2009

An end to old traditions

Three years ago on this blog, then frequent commenter Darin and I got into a heated debate over whether or not the Japanese imperial family should end the form of primogeniture where only a son could be elevated to the Chrysanthemum Throne (historically, though, a number of women were empresses in Japan). The eventual birth of a grandson for Akihito negated the urgency of that question, and for now the new traditions remain.

On the other side of the planet, however, one of the other last holdouts, Great Britain, is considering making changes to its rules of succession, in particular, by ending any preference of male heirs over female heirs. No more "primacy of princes over princesses in regal succession."

They would also end the ban on the British monarch marrying a "papist" (a Catholic). This centuries-old rule was designed to protect the Church of England, of which the queen or king is the "Supreme Governor." That gives the monarch's entourage preferred parking at the Abbey.

[right: Although Princess Anne would move up from tenth in the line of succession to fourth, Prince Charles would remain first in line to the British throne. His left and right ears would be second and third, respectively.]

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