The campaign group Republic has today said changes to the Act of Succession 'fail the equality test in practice and in principle', branding the changes 'a bad joke'. Chief executive Graham Smith said today: "These reforms change nothing of substance, even if William and Kate have a daughter. It's a lot of fuss about a succession than may or may not happen in 60 years time." "The monarchy discriminates against every man, woman and child who isn't born into the Windsor family. To suggest that this has anything to do with equality is utterly absurd. It fails the equality test both in practice and in principle." "In practice it simply means that the eldest child of one family is preferred over all others. The bar against every other citizen, and specifically against Catholics, means that inequality is further entrenched in the system." "In principle all children in Britain should have an equal opportunity to stand for the position of Head of State. Anything short of that is an affront to the principles of equality." "It is extraordinary that we hear serious politicians proclaiming this change as a blow for equal rights. Do they ever stop to ask why the eldest should be favoured over the youngest? Or why the Windsor family should be favoured over all others?" "The monarchy is founded on discrimination and elitism. It has no place in a debate over equality of opportunity."

Full details of the government's announcement can be found at