Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

An equal-opportunity monarchy is a contradiction in terms

October 14, 2011 | 11:29 am

In one of the more surreal stories of the day, CBS reports that there's a push for legislation that would end the practice of the British monarch's oldest son having first dibs on the crown, even if he has an older sister. Under this proposal, if a girl were born first, she'd be the monarch and her little brother would be a footnote to history. A commoner interviewed by CBS called the male-first practice a "fuddy-duddy tradition."

And the monarchy itself isn't fuddy-duddy? Establishing sexual equality in the royal succession does nothing to change the fact that you have to be related to the monach to inherit the crown. Royal daughters are still royals.

The male-first tradition is out of date but so, arguably, is the monarchy. Britons may wish to preserve it, and paradoxically that's their democratic right. But tinkering with tradition to make it fairer is silly. As they say in England, in for a penny, in for a pound.


Save the throne

Prince William should put a ring on it

Not-quite-so-royal wedding, circa 1937 -- thank you, Wallis Windsor!

-- Michael McGough

Britain's Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding. Credit: Matt Dunham / Associated Press

Comments ()