Prince William and Kate Middleton's first child -- whether a boy or girl -- will be able assume the British throne following historic changes to succession rules concerning the monarchy.
The 16 Commonwealth countries that recognize the British monarch as head of state voted last week to abolish male precedence in the order of succession.
The historic change overturns a 300-year rule that required firstborn sons to inherit the British throne. Previously, the only way for a woman to ascend to the throne -- as Queen Elizabeth did in 1952 -- was if the previous monarch had no sons.
In announcing the change, 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."