Prince Philip will
Royals

Prince Philip’s will to be sealed for 90 years as fans of the monarchy left baffled

What's the real reason for the decision?

The will of Prince Philip is to remain secret for at least 90 years – and some of the British public are baffled about the sealed document.

London’s High Court has ruled that the will of the late Duke of Edinburgh will stay sealed until at least 2111.

It’s highly likely most of us will be dead by then.

So why has the decision been made?

Here’s everything you need to know…

Prince Philip
Members of the public left floral tributes for the late Prince Philip outside Buckingham Palace in London (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Read more: Prince William and Prince Harry share memories of Prince Philip in first trailer for BBC documentary

Prince Philip will sealed

Prince Philip’s will is to remain sealed for 90 years.

That means that the contents of his last will and testament won’t be public knowledge until next century.

According to previous reports, the majority of the Prince’s estate is likely to have been left to his wife the Queen.

He reportedly left three of his key staff members money as well as his grandchildren, including Prince Harry.

An insider claimed Philip “never held a grudge” and wasn’t the sort of person to “punish a grandson for misbehaving”.

A private process will take place in 90 years to decide if it can become unsealed.

After 90 years, the monarch’s private solicitor can open the Royal will and examine it.

They will then decide whether the will may be made public at that stage, but some royal wills may never be published, even in part.

Why is Prince Philip’s will sealed?

The will of the late Queen’s husband will stay sealed to maintain the monarchy’s “dignity” and “standing”.

The UK High Court’s most senior family judge Andrew McFarlane said it is “convention” that, after the death of a senior member of the Royal Family, the courts are asked to seal their wills.

McFarlane wrote in his ruling that the decision answers the “need to enhance the protection” and “maintain the dignity of the Sovereign” and her family.

However, Reuters reported that McFarlane also ruled for the request “to exclude the value of the estate from the grant of probate”.

He said in his ruling: “The degree of publicity that publication would be likely to attract would be very extensive and wholly contrary to the aim of maintaining the dignity of the Sovereign.”

In fact, it is not unusual for a senior Royal to have their will sealed.

The first royal family member to have their will sealed was Prince Francis of Teck, the younger brother of Queen Mary, wife of King George V.

The most recent royals to have their wills sealed include Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.

However, some Brits have criticised the decision and called for transparency.

Public reaction

Those who heard the news seemed shocked by the news and suspected there was more to the decision than convention.

After all, Princess Diana‘s will was made public.

One Twitter user said: “90 years!? Must be juicy!”

Another said: “Dignity? Dignity by covering up?”

A third added: “Don’t want the public to know the real value of their obscene inherited wealth and privilege.”

The Duke of Edinburgh died of old age in April 2021 aged 99, just months before his 100th birthday.

Duke of Edinburgh honours

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution announced they’ve named a new lifeboat in honour of Prince Philip.

The ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ boat will go into service at Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk sometime in late 2022.

The boat will be in use just a short distance from the Queen’s private estate, Sandringham, where the Prince spent most of his time after he retired from public life.

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