SPECULATION is mounting that David Cameron’s plan to overturn ancient laws governing succession to the throne could mean changes for Cheshire-based aristocratic families like the Grosvenors.
Removal of the precedence of boys over girls in line to the throne threatens arguments and upheaval in other families where titles and inheritance are handed down by hereditary principles.
In Chester, Hugh, the Earl Grosvenor, is in line to take over from his father the Duke of Westminster, the country’s wealthiest aristocrat, but his eldest sister Lady Tamara could take his place if the law allowed.
However, the duke’s spokeswoman, Jane Sandars, played down such a possibility.
She said: “It’s so speculative. We don’t even know what the proposals are for the royal family therefore we have no idea whether it would affect anybody else.”
Ms Sandars thought it ‘unlikely’ the new law would relate to anyone other than the royals.
However, the national press is raising the questions about whether introducing equal rights could affect more than 20 dukedoms.
The Daily Mail speculates the removal of the primogeniture law from the royal succession leaves titled families exposed to legal challenge if they persist with the tradition of male inheritance.
It reports that families which do not opt to follow the new rules for the royals could see their inheritance arrangements tested in the courts, with frustrated daughters and their descendants seeking to win a greater share.
Lady Tamara Grosvenor, 33, eldest daughter of the Duke of Westminster, is married to Prince William’s friend Edward van Cutsem. She and her sister Lady Edwina, 31, are both older than brother Hugh, 21, who is heir to the dukedom.