A choose dominated Thursday that the need of the late Prince Philip ought to stay secret to guard the “dignity” of his widow Queen Elizabeth II, who’s Britain’s head of state.
Philip died in April on the age of 99 after greater than seven many years of marriage to the queen.
Wills are often public paperwork in Britain, however for nearly a century it has been customary for the wills of senior royals to be sealed on the order of the Excessive Courtroom.
Choose Andrew McFarlane mentioned Philip’s will ought to be sealed for 90 years. After that, it may be be opened in personal and consideration given as to if it ought to be revealed.
The judgment in The Will of His late Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh can now be discovered on-line. https://t.co/fiZhiz0v0v
— Judicial Workplace (@JudiciaryUK) September 16, 2021
“I’ve held that, due to the constitutional place of the Sovereign, it’s acceptable to have a particular observe in relation to royal wills,” McFarlane mentioned in a written judgment. “There’s a want to reinforce the safety afforded to actually personal points of the lives of this restricted group of people to be able to keep the dignity of the Sovereign and shut members of her household.”
The choose pressured that he had not seen or been advised of the contents of the need.
McFarlane mentioned that as president of the Excessive Courtroom’s household division, he’s custodian of a secure which holds 30 envelopes, every containing the sealed will of a deceased royal, together with the late Queen Mom Elizabeth and the present queen’s sister, Princess Margaret. Each died in 2002.
Within the years that adopted, a person who claimed to be Margaret’s illegitimate son, Robert Brown, fought a failed courtroom battle to have each wills unsealed to be able to search proof for his declare.
The choose mentioned that whereas there is perhaps “public curiosity” about royal wills, “there isn’t any true public curiosity within the public figuring out this wholly personal info.”
The ruling got here after a courtroom listening to in July that was held in personal. Media organizations weren’t allowed to make the case for publishing the need.