LONDON — The British government will propose giving princesses the same rights to succeed to the throne as their brothers, announcing the plan a day after the news that Prince William and his wife, Kate, were expecting their first child.
Current laws, including the 1700 Act of Settlement, give male heirs precedence over their older sisters. The act also excludes Roman Catholics or anyone married to a Roman Catholic from becoming king or queen. Spurred on by William’s wedding last year, Prime Minister David Cameron agreed the law needed to be changed and lobbied his counterparts from other members of the British Commonwealth.
In what Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described as ‘‘a wonderful coincidence,’’ the process of getting agreement to a limited change, which would also remove the bar on those married to Catholics, among the 15 countries that share the monarch was completed Monday.