Friday, 27 March 2009

A matter of inheritance ?

by johnofgwent

OK let's get it out in the open and out of the way shall we.

This morning the newsreader that woke me seemed stunned to report that MP's were debating whether to muck about with what has to be about a thousand years of tradition at the very least and change the way our head of state is given the job. I speak of course of the way Britain has handed the crown from eldest male heir to eldest mail heir disregarding any female heirs of greater seniority which means the ladies don't get a look in when it comes to the crown-wearing job unless they have no brothers - or take steps to ensure they have none when the time comes.

Now as a father of two - now adult - daughters which means I am outvoted three to one in all matters domestic I know what it means to live under a distaff dictatorship. But I brought it on myself for I have ensured that neither of my kids need stare puzzled at steam billowing from under a bonnet nor be forced to flutter eyelashes at a hunk of an AA man to get going again. That doesn't stop them DOING it of course, the point is they know how to wield a torque wrench just like he does.

So do I care that MP's are mucking about with a custom that has gone on for god only knows how long ?

In this case, No, I don't.

There is precedent for this elsewhere. Other royal families of other monarchies have adopted the position that the eldest CHILD gets the crown regardless of their sex and I see no riots in the streets.

The change in the law will make hardly a jot of difference to our generation. All it would mean to us today is that a madman who for some crazed reason wished to see Princess Anne on the throne, who currently needs to expend several armalite magazines and/or several pounds of explosive to despatch the large number of male heirs that stand between Anne and a date with an archbishop, would need considerably fewer rounds. If Anne were older than Charles of course there would be endless scope for argument on late night TV and I can see the Jerry Springer special right now. But this is not the case.

I very much doubt I will be alive to see the coronation of King William unless his dad does the decent thing and steps aside when the time comes, but even then the question of whether his future firstborn is male or female is not exactly pressing to me at the moment.

In fact apart from the reason I give above that the whole matter is pretty irrelevant right now, one wonders why our MP's are even bothering to give this matter parliamentary time.