Pressure building to liberalize UK royal succession

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Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, strongly criticised the [1707] Act of Settlement, adding to pressure inside the Government for the law to be changed or scrapped.

Mr Straw, the Justice Secretary, earlier this year signalled that ministers are looking at abolishing the 307-year-old Act of Settlement because it is "antiquated" and discriminates against non-Protestants.

Repealing or amending the act could also pave the way for a first-born daughter of Prince William to succeed him as monarch by ending the practice of primogeniture where male heirs are given priority in the succession.

The Act also prevents Royal heirs marrying Catholics. Earlier this year Autumn Kelly renounced her Catholicism when she married Peter Phillips, the Queen's eldest grandson, in order to preserve his status as 11th in line to the throne.

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