William & Kate's First-Born Daughter Eligible to Be Queen

10/28/2011 at 01:00 PM EDT

Prince William & Kate Middleton: Royal Succession Changes
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
PA Photos/Landov
Boy or girl, the first child of the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William will be able to assume the throne – as historic changes to the rule of succession have gotten the green light.

The leaders of the 16 governments with Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state have unanimously agreed to change the laws in their realms.

Under current laws, the immediate heir is the first-born son of the monarch.

Announcing the new deal, British Prime Minister David Cameron said, "Put simply, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen."





The countries – Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Papua New Guinea, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu, Barbados, Grenada, Solomon Islands, St. Lucia and the Bahamas – will now work to implement the changes individually.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said it was a "matter for government," and denied that the Queen signaled her blessing in a speech at the conference of the heads of government in the Commonwealth, in Perth, Australia.

The theme of this year's conference is "Women as Agents of Change." Said Her Majesty: "It reminds us of the potential in our societies that is yet to be fully unlocked, and it encourages us to find ways to allow girls and women to play their full part."

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