From now on the successor will be the first born, either male or female. Up to now a female could become the monarch only if there were no sons among the offspring.
Another change lifts the ban on the monarch marrying a Catholic, although the prohibition on the monarch themselves being a Catholic remains.
“Let me be clear, the monarch must be in communion with the Church of England because he or she is the head of that Church,” explained the British prime minister David Cameron according to the BBC. “But it is simply wrong they should be denied the chance to marry a Catholic if they wish to do so. After all, they are already quite free to marry someone of any other faith.”
The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, welcomed the decision: “This will eliminate a point of unjust discrimination against Catholics and will be welcomed not only by Catholics but far more widely.”