Aristocrats call for new succession rules
There are calls for outdated succession rules for titled aristocrats to be altered in line with accepted royal succession legislation, to permit ladies to inherit titles.
According to laws introduced in the 17th and 18th centuries, females in direct line to the throne are able to take up this position. However, this is not the same for aristocrats despite family titles dying out, should there be no male heir to continue the line.
It is believed that the laws governing aristocratic succession were based on male primogeniture, in an attempt to prevent estates from being divided up. Generations ago, ladies were expected to marry and bear children and were not considered to be able to take on the pressures of successfully running the family estate. However, it has now been recognised that this approach is no longer appropriate for the twenty first century.
With many significant family titles already having died out as a result of women being passed over with regards to succession, it will be interesting to see whether these changes will be made quickly, and whether any claims will be made to reinstate titles.