Developing

'Wonderful coincidence' as Commonwealth consents to royal baby reform

By politics.co.uk staff

Commonwealth countries have given their consent to changes to the gender rules around royal births – on the very day Kate Middleton was revealed to be pregnant.

The consent means the government can now push through the succession to the crown bill in the Commons at the earliest opportunity.

"It's a wonderful coincidence that the final confirmation from the other realms arrived on the very day that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their announcement," Nick Clegg said today.

"We can all celebrate that whether the baby is a boy or a girl, they will have an equal claim to the throne.

"The government will soon introduce the bill which will make our old fashioned rules fit for the 21st Century."

The legislation will end the principle of male primogeniture, so that men will no longer take precedence over women in line to the throne, and end the bar on anyone in the line of succession marrying a Roman Catholic.