LONDON — The 16 countries that recognize the British monarch as head of
state struck a historic blow for women’s rights on Friday, abolishing
male precedence in the order of succession to the throne. But the
possibility of a Catholic monarch will have to wait, nearly 500 years
after Henry VIII broke with Rome.
The decision to overturn the centuries-old tradition known as primogeniture was accompanied by the scrapping of a constitutional prohibition on the monarch’s marrying a Roman Catholic. But the rule that reserves the throne to Protestants will remain.
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