Why did Britain impose secrecy on the will of the Queen’s husband?


The British High Court ruled on Thursday that the will of Britain’s late husband, Prince Philip, be kept secret for 90 years to protect the “dignity of the Queen” and “members of her family,” according to British media.
According to British tradition, after the death of a prominent member of the royal family, an application to seal his will is submitted to the head of the family division of the Supreme Court, which means that the wills of senior members of the royal family are not open to public inspection.
Judge Andrew MacFarlane ruled that Prince Philip’s will remain sealed for 90 years, stressing that it can only be opened in private, after that date. The judge said: “I think because of the constitutional status of the Queen, it is appropriate that there should be a private practice in relation to the royal wills.” “There is a need to strengthen the protections afforded to the truly private aspects of the life of this limited group of individuals in order to preserve the dignity of the Sovereign and those close to her family.” He pointed out that the ruling came to announce as much detail as possible to the public without “compromising royal privacy.”
The judge confirmed that he was ignorant of everything about the contents of the will, except for the date of its implementation, and the identity of the appointed executor. And he indicated that he held the previous hearing of the will in private to avoid propaganda and its expectations, noting that this would be “completely contrary to the need to preserve the dignity of the sovereign and protect the privacy surrounding royal matters.”
The judge justified his decision to impose secrecy on the grounds of “public curiosity about the private arrangements a member of the royal family might choose, but there is no real public interest in the public knowing this fully”.
In his justifications, the judge went on to say that the media’s interest in the issue of the will will be purely commercial, explaining that the publicity that will accompany it will be very broad, and completely contradict the goal of preserving the dignity of the queen.
Sir Andrew pointed out that the first member of the royal family to have his will sealed by a decision of the chief court was Prince Francis of Teck, in 1910, noting that he guarded a safe containing 30 envelopes, each containing a sealed will for deceased royals.
He explained that the oldest envelope contains the wills of Prince Francis, Prince of Teke, and the most recent are the wills of the late Queen Mother, and Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister.


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