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24 September, 2023
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Philip's will: A 90 year secret

Prince Philip's will is sealed and will remain so for at least 90 years

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The will of Philip , Queen Elizabeth's deceased husband, will be sealed and will remain so for at least 90 years, a London court has ruled.

But what dictates this practice?

The aim is to preserve the privacy and dignity of the monarchy. In fact, this is something that has been happening for more than a century.

this legal mechanism was devised after Prince Francis left precious emeralds to his mistress, Countess K

The will to seal the will was also heard in secret in July by Sir Andrew McFarlane, the senior judge in the family courts.

As part of the process, arguments were presented by lawyers representing the duke, but also the attorney general, the chief legal adviser of the government, and the decision was published yesterday.

Sir Andrew said he was in charge of guarding a safe containing more than 30 envelopes, each containing the sealed will of a dead member of the royal family.

He stated in his statements that he had not seen the will of Prince Philip nor had he been informed of its contents. He added that "the degree of publicity that would cause a possible publication of the will would be so great and completely contrary to the purpose of maintaining the honor of the supreme lord and the other members of the royal family."

Referring to similar rulings in the past, the judge said the first member of the family whose will was sealed was Prince Francis of Tech, the younger brother of Queen Mary, who died in 1910.

According to Michael L. Nass, a legal and royal expert and author of the Royal Testaments in Britain from 1509 to 2008, this legal mechanism was devised after Prince Francis left precious emeralds to his mistress, Countess K.

Sir Andrew said that after 90 years each royal will will be opened and examined by the monarch's private lawyer, the royal archivist, the attorney general and any representatives of the deceased who may still be available.

They will decide if the will can be made public at that stage, but Sir Andrew said some wills may never be published, not even in part.

Unsealing should be done by a professional archivist to ensure that documents and sealing are properly maintained.

Further details of the procedure will be decided by the court before it begins to unseal the first of the wills.

The queen's lawyer and attorney general argued that the wills should be sealed for 125 years, but Sir Andrew said 90 years was enough to significantly reduce the risk of invasion of the royal members' privacy by publishing it. will.

He added that he intends to publish a list of the names in the 30 files he keeps in his safe at some point in the future.

One name that will not be included, however, is that of Princess Diana, as her will was published after her death in 1997, revealing that the majority of her estate was reserved for her sons until they reached the age of 25.

Source: BBC

Philip  |  will  |  Elizabeth  |  death  |  Diana

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