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A crowning achievement

It is official now, a first-born daughter can be Queen of England, but it’s taken a jolly long time coming.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2011 21:21 IST

To one suddenly initiated into the politics of Britain, its Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement of changing the rules of succession to the British throne might be an underwhelming one. Not so for us. We did pay scrupulous attention when Mr Cameron announced in Perth, Australia that the 16 nations (including Australia, Canada and New Zealand) that recognise the British monarch as their head of state had agreed to repeal the law that barred first-born daughters from the throne if they had a brother. We were overwhelmed, understandably, that such a law took so long in the coming, in a country ruled for 11 years by a prime minister in Margaret Thatcher or a where the reign of the current Queen Elizabeth II now extends up to almost 60 years.

In any case, it is heartening to know that if a little girl is indeed born to Prince William and Kate, she will not only play princess as little girls tend to do around the world but actually savour the idea of becoming a queen, no matter how anachronistic that may sound. Elsewhere, especially in countries like Saudi Arabia, where little and big girls have it somewhat more rough, things are changing too. Recent changes in electoral practices have meant that women there can now contest and vote in municipal polls, the first step towards long-awaited political empowerment.

All of which makes us feel rather happy, and wish that hands that have traditionally rocked cradles should increasingly wield sceptres, real or otherwise.