Philip of Edinburgh, Elizabeth II’s husband, lived to be 99 years old. And almost as many as he lived his last will will remain a secret. It will take nine decades for the duke’s will to be revealed, as has just been revealed. The decision has been made by a judge of the Supreme Court of London and the reason is one: to respect the “dignity” of the queen.
The longest-serving royal consort in the United Kingdom passed away on April 9 at Windsor Castle, with just two months left until he reached the century of life. But his latest decisions will not be known, following the royal convention established more than a century ago by which the courts seal the family’s wills and keep them secret.
The President of the Court’s Family Court, Sir Andrew McFarlane, had a closed-door hearing in July in which he heard both the lawyers representing Felipe and the State Attorney General, who represents the public interest in matters of this caliber. . The hearing was made by following the formal procedure, which thus gives the judge authority to seal that will for a specific time that is usually around 100 years and which also establishes who is the person who will have access to it, another piece of information that has not been sleepless. In addition, even if the will is opened, it will continue to be done in private, as explained by the Reuters agency.
According to the judge, this period of time is “proportionate and sufficient”. The judge explains that he understands “curiosity” to know what were the last decisions of a member of the royal family, and more of such significance, but according to him “it has no public interest that people know their private information” and that the media they only have a “commercial interest” in it. For him, in fact, it is “necessary to improve the protection given to certain really private aspects of this specific group of people.”
McFarlane has explained to the British media that this convention, which dates back to 1910, is followed and that therefore “no copy of the will will be made public or kept in the archives of the Court.” “The amount of publicity and guesswork that the publication [del testamento] could attract it would be immense and completely contrary to the objective of maintaining the dignity of the sovereign and of the close members of her family “, McFarlane explained in a statement sent from the Court, highlighting above all” the constitutional situation of the sovereign , for which it is appropriate to have a special practice with respect to real desires ”. McFarlane has also said that he is the custodian of more than 30 envelopes with the wills of members of the royal family, the last of which are those of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, mother and sister of Elizabeth II, both of whom died in early 2002. From In fact, in 2007 a man claiming to be Margarita’s son asked to open the princess’s, but the court refused.
The first time this procedure was carried out was in 1910, with the death of Prince Francis of Teck, the younger brother of Queen Mary, grandmother of the current sovereign, as explained by the magistrate. Francisco died of pneumonia at the age of 39, and he was a womanizing man, a gambler and who came to bet valuable family jewels, in addition to giving some highly valued emeralds to one of his lovers, a countess. It was believed that he had an illegitimate secret son whom his wills could benefit. Therefore his sister, the queen, decided to seal it and keep it a secret for years. This custom has been maintained for decades, with the only exception being the will of Diana of Wales, which was revealed.
In the case of Philippe of Edinburgh, it does not appear that the will would reveal scandals or secret children. But there are media that suggest that it could mean savings in corporate tax that were not made public. This fee is not paid when the legacy passes from sovereign to sovereign or from consort to sovereign, as is the case, but it seems that Felipe left certain amounts of his fortune to both his grandchildren and some of his assistants, and for that reason he did. that would have to be paid. In any case, we will have to wait 90 years to find out who those heirs were.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.