Prince Philip’s Will to Be Kept Secret for 90 Years to “Preserve the Monarch’s Dignity”
A high court in London has concluded that whatever secrets would be kept in Prince Philip’s will shall remain denied to the public for the next 90 years.
Andrew McFarlane, the president of the court’s Family Division, agreed Philip’s will should be sealed up “and that no copy of the will should be made for the record or kept on the court file,” according to CNN. He also ruled in favor of the request “to exclude the value of the estate from the grant of probate.” This makes sense because the estates would be a matter of public concern since they are paid for through taxes.
Prince Phillip passed away in April at 99 years old, after being one of the most consistent faces of the British monarchy for the majority of most people’s lifetimes. Despite his, at times, less than stellar reputation, there was an outpouring of condolences simply because he was, despite everything else, a father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
I am sure that being portrayed on The Crown by Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies helped push him into a new level of “popularity” for modern audiences who might not have any knowledge of him outside of just his reputation—or people asking, “Why isn’t he King?”
McFarlane also stated that part of his decision was to protect the Sovereign, a.k.a. The Queen: “The degree of publicity that publication would be likely to attract would be very extensive and wholly contrary to the aim of maintaining the dignity of the Sovereign.”
He went on to say that he felt the decision was a “necessary and proportionate intrusion into the private affairs of Her Majesty and the Royal Family to make public the fact that an application to seal the will of HRH The Prince Philip … has been made and granted in private, and to explain the underlying reasons.”
Therefore, 90 years was a period he said was “proportionate and sufficient” before the information could be made public. This is not the first time a decision was made like this to protect a royal’s will. The first, according to CNN, was Prince Francis of Teck, younger brother of George V’s wife, Queen Mary. After him, Queen Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth, and her sister Princess Margaret, were subsequently added to the “valut.”
Honestly, they can keep their secrets. I’ll be dead in 90 years, and if we manage to get rid of the monarchy before then, the spoils of their wills will be ours anyway.
(via CNN, image: Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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