Prince Philip’s desire to protect the “dignity” of the Queen because of his constitutional role remains a secret, the High Court has ruled.
A ruling published Thursday said the Duke of Edinburgh’s will would be sealed for 90 years by the grant of probate – a process affirming an executor’s right to administer a deceased person’s estate – and After that date can only be opened privately.
“I have held that, because of the constitutional position of the Sovereign, it is appropriate to have a special exercise with respect to the royal will,” said Judge Sir Andrew MacFarlane.
“There is a need to increase the protection given to the truly private aspects of the life of this limited group of individuals in order to uphold the dignity of the sovereign and his close family members.”
When a senior member of the royal family dies, it is customary to make an application to the President of the Family Division of the High Court to seal his will to prevent it from being open to public inspection. , the way other wills usually are. .
Sir Andrew, who is the current chairman, heard legal arguments from lawyers representing Philip’s estate and the attorney general – who represents the public interest in such matters – at a private hearing in July.
The judge said on Thursday that he had neither seen nor disclosed the contents of the will other than the date of execution of the will and the identity of the appointed executor.
Philip, who died in April at the age of 99, two months before he turned 100, was Britain’s longest-serving union.
Sir Andrew said the decision to hold the previous hearing privately was designed to prevent a series of announcements about the case that would “generate very significant publicity and conjecture”.
He continued: “I have accepted the request that, there may be public curiosity about the private arrangement that a member of the Royal Family may choose of his/her own volition, to know this completely private information in public. There is no real public interest.
“The interest of the media in this regard is commercial. The extent to which it is likely to attract publicity would be too broad and contrary to the purpose of upholding the dignity of the Lord.
Lawyers representing Philip’s estate had argued that the news of the hearing and application could generate “absolutely unfounded conjectures” that would be “deeply intrusive” to the Queen and the royal family.
As Chairman of the High Court’s Family Division, Sir Andrew is the custodian of a vault containing 30 envelopes – each containing a sealed will of a deceased member of the Royal Family.
The earliest envelope is labeled as the will of Prince Francis of Teck, with the most recent additions being the bequest of the late Queen Mother and the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret.
PA. Additional reporting by
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /