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Prince Philip’s Will Has Been Sealed Away for 90 Years to Protect Queen Elizabeth

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Prince Philip’s will has been sealed away for 90 years following his sad death on April 9, 2021. The 99-year-old passed away at home in Windsor, England just two months before his 100th birthday, leaving his wife the Queen to carry on without him.

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Now a high court in the UK has ruled that the late Duke of Edinburgh’s will shall be sealed from the grant of probate for almost a century, in keeping with royal tradition. Sir Andrew McFarlane, the President of the Family Division of the High Court, ruled that sealing Prince Philip’s will away was appropriate in this case.

“I have held that, because of the constitutional position of the Sovereign, it is appropriate to have a special practice in relation to royal wills,” he said in a written judgment. “There is a need to enhance the protection afforded to truly private aspects of the lives of this limited group of individuals in order to maintain the dignity of the Sovereign and close members of her family.”

He added that he had not seen nor heard of the contents of the will, which has been locked away with at least 30 others, including those of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. Most wills are publicly accessible in the UK — but not those of key figures from the royal family. Traditionally, when a senior royal dies an application is filed to seal their will for an extended period of time to protect the royal family’s privacy.

This was the case with Philip’s will, though Sir Andrew did acknowledge that some details will be made public. He said in his ruling that only details that won’t “compromise the conventional privacy afforded to communications from the Sovereign” may be released. A private hearing was held in July, as a public hearing was deemed likely to “generate very significant publicity and conjecture”.

Media organizations were not allowed to make a case for publishing the will and Sir Andrew ruled that, though there would be curiosity about its contents, “there is no true public interest in the public knowing this wholly private information.”

Throughout the process, much care has been given to maintaining the privacy of the royal family, especially the Queen. After more than 70 years of marriage, the Queen lost her longest supporter when Philip died in April. 

Photos of her sitting alone at his funeral made headlines around the world and now she’s continuing her royal life without him. Most recently she travelled to Balmoral, Scotland for her annual vacation for the first time since his death.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.

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