July 23, 2013

Succession to the Crown Act 2013 now applicable in SVG

The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 was passed into law in St Vincent and the Grenadines on July 3, days before the birth of the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.{{more}}

Act No. 14 of 2013, which alters the law pertaining to succession to the Crown, gives sons and daughters of any future United Kingdom monarch equal right to the throne.

Sixteen Commonwealth nations, including St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), of which Queen Elizabeth is Head of State, agreed to change succession laws on October 28, 2011, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia.

The passage of the Act here on July 3 means that the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which was passed on January 28, 2013 in the United Kingdom Parliament, is now applicable in SVG.

The law means that a first-born daughter of Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, would take precedence over younger brothers.

The law also lifts the ban on the monarch being married to a Roman Catholic.

Under the old succession laws, dating back more than 300 years, the heir to the throne is the first-born son of the monarch. Only when there are no sons, as in the case of the Queen’s father George VI, does the crown pass to the eldest daughter.

The succession changes required that a raft of historic legislation be amended, including the 1701 Act of Settlement, the 1689 Bill of Rights and the Royal Marriages Act 1772.

The change to the Royal Marriages Act will end a position where every descendant of George II is legally required to seek the consent of the monarch before marrying.

In future, the requirement is expected to be limited to a small number of the sovereign’s close relatives.