Thanks To "Downton Law," High-Born British Ladies May Inherit Noble Titles

ladmaryembedPhoto: Courtesy of PBS.
In America, it's easy to forget that just across the pond, our colonist forefathers still have in place an antiquated system that celebrates economic inequality by bestowing made-up titles for people whose families have traditionally had a lot of money. In Britain, the aristocracy is still considered a serious thing, so much that a bill is now making its way through the House of Lords that would alter more than 400 years of hereditary tradition.
As it is now, only fathers can pass their titles of nobility to sons. The proposed law, dubbed the "Downton Law" after the PBS drama of the same name, would allow women to inherit titles, too. The Telegraph notes that the legislation originally included only dukes, earls, viscounts, and other hereditary peers, but it left out baronets. A campaign by four families has succeeded in adding an amendment to the bill to include baronets, too.
In Downton Abbey, Lady Mary isn't allowed to inherit the family seat because it must pass to a male heir. That's how it's gone in the real world, too; the Telegraph notes that one noble family without male children was "so disappointed not to have an heir that [the] mother cried when she learnt she had given birth to a girl."
Said Lord Monson to the Telegraph, "It is, in fact, really straightforward — there is only one issue here which is the issue of gender equality, no other issues should really be taken into account."
The irony, of course, is that a group of people with patrilineal inherited titles that historically distinguished them from the lower classes — with the exception of barons and baronets, which, like knights, were traditionally commoners — feels compelled to debate notions of equality. Abolishing the aristocracy would help, too. (The Telegraph)

More from Politics

"Wrong." "That makes me smart." "Why Not?" "Ugh." No, those aren't snippets of a conversation with a cranky 5-year-old. They're just a few of the ...
When Donald Trump attacked her suitabilty for office during Monday's debate, Hillary Clinton was ready with the comeback of the evening. Towards...
People are already having feelings about the presidential debate — and no one’s even had time to finish their wine yet. Twitter was gearing up for the ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis: Hillary Clinton from Funny Or Die Update: Hillary Clinton's appearance on Between Two Ferns may have smashed ...
We're just hours away from the first presidential debate of the 2016 election. The 90-minute showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is ...
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
We share the 12 questions we want to hear moderator Lester Holt ask Clinton and Trump tonight
Step aside, old-school political merch. We're way past bumper stickers and buttons. With the election just months away, people across the country are ...
1. Here At Home: Police arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting at a Washington state mall that left five people dead. The shooting took place...
We want to get something out the way. This is not "the most 2016 image ever." The most 2016 image ever is, like, Donald Trump being scared by a bird. But...
When thinking about the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opening this weekend, the first thing that comes ...
On Saturday, police arrested a 20-year-old suspect in connection with a shooting at a Washington state mall that left five people dead, reports The ...
The 2016 presidential election has been a captivating contest. If you feel like sometimes you can't look away, well, you're not alone. Even celebrities ...