New Zealand passes royal succession law

  • Judith Collins

A Bill modernising rules around Royal succession to the throne has passed its third and final reading in Parliament today.

The Royal Succession Bill puts in place changes that were agreed in 2011 by the 16 Realms who share the Queen as Head of State. All Realms, including New Zealand, must have the same succession laws.

“These changes are positive for New Zealand’s system of government. This Bill improves and modernises the rules of succession and helps ensure the monarchy remains relevant to our modern society,” Ms Collins says.

The Bill makes three specific changes to the Royal succession rules:

  • the order of succession will no longer be based on gender and will allow an elder daughter to precede a younger son as heir to the throne. This rule will apply to any children in the line of succession born after 28 October 2011, including the recently born Prince George of Cambridge
  • a person married to a Roman Catholic will be able to accede to the throne
  • seeking the Sovereign’s permission to marry, which currently applies to all members of the royal family, will be limited only to the first six in line to the throne.

The changes will come into force simultaneously with the other Realms at a yet-to-be agreed date.