Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the Government is consulting with Commonwealth countries as to whether the laws on royal succession should be changed.
The effect of the change under discussion would be that female heirs would have equal standing to be able to ascend the throne. Other aspects of reform would also be considered.
Currently, the law on royal succession is contained in common law (judge-made law) and in the 1701 Act of Settlement. It is common law which sets down the law of primogeniture, which gives precedence to male heirs.
Under the law of primogeniture, male heirs accede to the throne before any older sisters. For many, such a distinction between males and females in this way is 'old fashioned' and discriminatory, despite the traditional nature of the monarchy.
Another interesting aspect of the law on royal succession, as it currently stands, is that under the Act of Settlement Roman Catholics are barred from ascending the throne, as is anyone married to a Roman Catholic.
However, making any such changes would require the approval of all Commonwealth countries where the Queen is the head of state, as those countries would all be affected by the change. There remain 15 countries other than the UK in which the Queen is the head of state.
Previous attempts have been made to commence the process of changing the law of royal succession, most recently by former Labour minister Keith Vaz earlier this year.
Mr Vaz's bill remains before Parliament for consideration.
Nick Clegg has said that the UK government is currently "having consultations at official level" with the governments of Commonwealth countries. Even if the change were agreed to in principle, it would require legislative changes in each of those countries.
As a consequence, it is likely to be a long time until such changes are in place. However, many people welcome steps being taken towards changes that are thought by most as overdue in today's society.
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