An interesting question came up by Jane on The British Royal Message Board (I love “what ifs” scenarios, or counterfactual history, when it comes to historic events, and let my geek come out often)
Jane writes: “All this talk of changing succession rules in the UK leads me to ask: just who exactly would be this person, under the law of fully cognatic (“absolute”) primogeniture?” She goes on to say that neither the current monarch nor the Stuart pretender, currently the Duke of Bavaria would qualify.
A fully cognatic primogeniture would give the oldest child, regardless of sex, rights to the throne.
Since the Act of Settlement 1701 is saying that the rights go to descendants of Sophia of Hanover, who aren’t Catholic or married to a Catholic, we start with her.
Sophia was not the oldest child of Elizabeth Stuart, but since the others either died long before the Act of Settlement came to, without offspring or were Catholic… and though the current suggestion for amendment would possibly alter it so that those married to Catholics can ascend, the current point is that the monarch would still have to not be Catholic (if I have understood it correctly). Therefore, Sophia would still be the starting point for this evening’s little excision into royal genealogical geekery.
Prepare for some tedious genealogical rambling of almost biblical proportions.