Kate Middleton could be the first British royal in centuries to see an eldest daughter become Queen instead of a younger brother. Under the century-old tradition of male primogeniture, if the eldest child was a girl she would only become queen if none of her younger siblings were boys. Now, with the assent of 16 countries in the Commonwealth, girls will be just as eligible as their brothers, meaning the eldest child will always ascend to the throne. The change in law, which is expected to soon be formalized in the British parliament, also lifts a ban on Catholic heirs – a move British Prime Minister David Cameron and Catholic leaders have praised. Here are five would-be queens who were leap-frogged by their brothers for the throne:
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Prince William emerged from Westminster Abbey with a lace-clad Catherine on his arm to cheers from thousands of fans lining the route to Buckingham Palace.