Real Life 'Downton Abbey' Law Could Have Helped Lady Mary Crawley
Britian is changing an age-old law and it's partially because of Downton Abbey. It's also because it's just the right thing to do. A bill, nicknamed the "Downton law" has been created to allow the title of baronet to pass not just from father to son as it has for 400 years, but now also to daughters. Surely Season 1 Lady Mary Crawley is seething that this law wasn't invented in time for her to reap its benefits, after not being able to inherit her family seat because she was born as a girl instead of the sought-after male heir. But fictional characters aside, this is a major stride for women to take against the archaic laws of British aristocracy. The legislation was introduced by four families who decided that it was time the House of Lords take a step into the 21st century and allow women and men to be equal in their baronet-ness.
Originally the bill, actually titled the Equality Titles Bill, mysteriously left out baronets, but no more. Sir Nicholas Stuart Taylor Bt, who has two daughters and a desire not to see his baronetcy become extinct, has led the charge to add an amendment to the bill to include baronets and the amendment is apparently "gathering momentum and support."
His daughter Virginia would become a baronetess if the law passes and spoke out in support of this area of equality saying, "I have been brought up believing that girls are equal to boys ... and it seems kind of ridiculous that we are trying so hard to make it fair for women in other areas of life but not in this one.”
We at Bustle totally agree, and even if it's too late for Lady Mary, this bill is a big deal, especially for a nation that holds its tradition so dear. It sounds like Virginia Stuart Taylor is going to make one smart baronetess, so fingers crossed the bill goes through.