London, July 15 (Reuters): Britain’s royal family should be overhauled from top to bottom to make it less political, more accountable and fit for the 21st century, an influential think-tank linked to the government said today.
Women, Roman Catholics, Jews and Muslims should not be discriminated against in the line of succession to the throne and the historic link between church and state, established by King Henry VIII in 1532, should be severed, it said.
Kings and queens should be free to retire rather than ploughing on until they die and royals should pay tax on their private income and wealth, it added.
The number of royals receiving public funding should be cut and Queen Elizabeth should be stripped of her powers to dissolve and summon parliament and give royal assent to legislation.
The 50,000-word report was compiled by a commission of the Fabian Society, affiliated to the ruling Labour Party, but editorially independent from it.
It said it was proposing “the first comprehensive reform of the monarchy in 300 years” and warned that the royal family could face a crisis in the future.