Court rules Prince Philip's will should be kept sealed for 90 years
LONDON, England - A judge at London's High Court ruled Thursday that the will of Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and late husband to Britain's Queen Elizabeth, should remain sealed and private for at least 90 years to preserve the monarch's dignity.
CNN notes that the tradition of keeping such a will private dates back to 1910, Andrew McFarlane, the president of the court's Family Division, said he had agreed Philip's will should be sealed up "and that no copy of the will should be made for the record or kept on the court file."
He also ruled in favor of the petition "to exclude the value of the estate from the grant of probate."
"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," McFarlane said in a ruling published on Thursday.
He said that typically, after the death of a senior royal, an application to seal the will was made to the Family Division president, with such hearings and judgments kept private.
But he said "as is plain from this judgment" he considered it was a "necessary and proportionate intrusion into the private affairs of Her Majesty and the Royal Family to make public the fact that an application to seal the will of HRH The Prince Philip ... has been made and granted in private, and to explain the underlying reasons."
The judge stipulated that 90 years should pass from the granting of probate before the will is unsealed in private before possible publication, a period he said was "proportionate and sufficient."
Prince Philip passed away at the age of 99 on April 9.
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