The 16 nations of the Commonwealth Realm, which recognize the Queen of England as monarch, unanimously agreed to give women equal preference to succeed the throne for the first time in 300 years. This means if Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first child is a girl, she will be queen. Previously, women could only take the throne if there were no male heirs.
The Commonwealth Realm also threw out old rules that barred the monarch from marrying a Catholic. “It reminds us of the potential in our societies that is yet to be fully unlocked and it encourages us to find ways to allow all girls and women to play their full part,” Queen Elizabeth II said at the opening of a summit of Commonwealth leaders in Perth, Australia.