Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Prince Charles concerned about royal succession change - reports

Prince Charles has reportedly aired concerns about changes to the rules of royal succession because they could have "unintended" consequences.

The changes would mean that a first-born daughter of Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, could accede to the throne ahead of any male sibling.

The 16 nations of which the Queen is head of state, including New Zealand, will each need to pass legislation to implement the changes.

The Daily Mail, quoting an unnamed source, reported yesterday that Prince Charles believed altering the rule which currently gives male heirs priority could have "unintended consequences" if not properly considered.

The Prince reportedly raised questions about the potential impact on hereditary titles passed down male lines.

However, he supported the principle of the law change as long as it had popular support, the newspaper reported.

The rules of royal succession have for centuries discriminated against women by allowing men to accede to the throne before any older sisters.

New Zealand is co-ordinating the process of changing the laws across the 16 Commonwealth countries to ensure consistency in the timing and the outcome of the changes.

Duty Minister Nathan Guy declined to comment yesterday on the Prince's comments but Prime Minister John Key previously welcomed the plans, saying he was glad New Zealand had been part of the process to bring about positive change.

"While tradition is important, I think this is an instance where it is important to move with the times," he said last May.

"New Zealand is a place where we judge people on their ability and values, not their gender and I am pleased we are part of the process that will result in this positive change."

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 30 Jul 2014 14:04:02 Processing Time: 667ms