I was featured on the David Prever show this morning on BBC Three Counties Radio, looking ahead at the likely big news stories of 2013. We were discussing the expected royal baby and the fact that any daughter will now succeed to the throne regardless of whether she has younger brothers. This will obviously be a major change to the succession given that male primogeniture has prevailed in England for one thousand years. Even the Anglo-Saxons, who recognised any son of a king as 'throne-worthy' employed a version of the system, with the elder brother always succeeding in precedence to the younger (although sometimes with a brother succeeding rather than a son). The legislation to allow an elder sister to succeed is not yet in place but the decision has been made. In any event, male or female, the royal baby must be one of the biggest news stories of the year to come.
In the programme, we also discussed the fact that the new baby will probably be elderly by the time they actually come to the throne. I mentioned Sophia of Hannover, who, had she survived for a few more weeks would have become queen of England in 1714 at the age of 83. Prince William would need to live to 114 for the new baby to beat that - but who knows?
Anyway, Happy New Year everyone!