Who needs a glass slipper?
History is littered with some pretty bad-ass queens—Elizabeth I of England, Maria-Theresa of Austria, Catherine the Great and Cleopatra to name a few. So with British Prime Minister David Cameron campaigning to change the ancient rules of succession, we expect a marked increase in royal awesomeness.
For 250 years, sons in line for a title have been favored over their sisters, inheriting even when the daughters are born first.
"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," said Cameron in a letter delivered to leaders of the 16 British Commonwealth nations.
Cameron is also hoping to overturn a rule that forbids any royal who marries a Catholic from inheriting the throne and to limit marriages that must be approved by the queen to those within six in line to the throne. Currently any of the descendants of George II who marry before the age of 25 is supposed to get royal permission, a rule that (in theory, at least) applies to thousands of Britons.
The changes Cameron is advocating will have to be approved by each member of the Commonwealth, a feat some say is impossible, noting that other prime ministers have tried and failed to modernize the rules of succession. And of course the whining about how women inheriting will destroy England has already begun in The Daily Mail:
It is not a cheap historical point to ask ourselves where we would have been had this law been in place at the time of Queen Victoria’s first confinement. Her daughter, the Princess Royal, married the Crown Prince of Prussia. After German unification in 1871 her husband became Crown Prince of Germany. For 99 days in 1888, between the death of his elderly father and his own untimely death from cancer, he was Germany’s second Kaiser and Victoria’s daughter was the Kaiserin. Their elder son then became Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Kaiser Bill who started the Great War"
That princesses were routinely shipped off to marry their royal cousins to preserve alliances of state is certainly true, but since arranged marriages are pretty rare these days (even in royal circles) and European monarchs no longer make decisions of state, one can assume that a daughter of Prince William inheriting the throne would not pose an existential threat to England.
While this law may be bad news to the little brothers of British noble society, it's good news for anyone who can't wait to see little boys dreaming of growing up to marry a princess