Eleanor Laing questions Prime Minister on timing of changes to royal line of succession

Eleanor Laing receives reassurance from the Prime Minister that new rules on the line of royal succession will be put in place in time to ensure that should the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child be a girl, she will become our Queen.

Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) (Con): The whole House does indeed join the Prime Minister in congratulating the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their excellent good news. Will the Prime Minister please confirm to the House that the Commonwealth has at last agreed—after many of us have been asking for this for years—to change the rules on royal succession? Will the Prime Minister undertake to bring a Bill before the House very soon, so that if this baby is a girl she can follow in the footsteps of her much-loved great-grandmother and become our Queen?

The Prime Minister: I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for her question. I think I can answer positively on all the points she made. At the Perth Commonwealth conference, I chaired a meeting of the Prime Ministers of all the different realms and we agreed we should bring forward legislation to deal with this issue. All the realms have now agreed to do that. We will introduce legislation into this House very shortly. It will write down in law what we agreed back in 2011: that if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child is a girl, she can one day be our Queen. That is the key point. But it is important to explain that the changes will apply to a child born after the date of the Perth announcement of last year even if the birth is before the legislation is passed. I hope it will not take long—certainly not nine months—to pass this legislation, but, just in case, there would not be a problem.

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