UK & World News
Pregnant Kate: Succession Law Hits Oz Bump
A change in the law that would allow the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first-born child to one day inherit the throne whatever their sex could be delayed by Queensland.
The problem has been caused because of a standoff between the Australian state and the federal government.
At present, the law states that a son takes precedence over a daughter even if his sister is the eldest born.
Proposals to change the rules to allow the first-born child of the heir to the throne to be first in line for succession were put to Commonwealth heads of state by Prime Minister David Cameron last year.
In order for the proposals to go through, all Commonwealth countries had to agree.
They did, but now internal bickering over procedure in just one of those nations looks like holding up the plans.
Last week, Australia PM Julia Gillard said the best way of dealing with the matter was for the country's states to give up their individual legal powers over the issue and pass legislation allowing the Commonwealth to make the decision for them.
"For that to be a legally effective process, all states have to do it. If one state doesn't do it, then it doesn't work," Ms Gillard was quoted as saying by Channel 9 News.
But Queensland premier Campbell Newman wants to do it his own way, with a law that states Queensland's position on the issue.
"Our view is that we will pass legislation in accordance with our position as a separate sovereign state," Mr Newman was quoted as saying.
"We're a federation of states. We're going to do it the right way, the proper way and that's our view."
However, Mr Newman does not want to stop a woman from the being Queen if she is the first born.
"It doesn't stymie it. We believe the end objective is achieved by the states passing their own legislation and the Commonwealth," he said.
Despite the bickering, Australia's political leaders all agree that they are delighted with the news that William and Catherine are expecting their first child.
The proposed changes to the succession law will also remove a bar on succession by a royal who marries a Catholic.