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LONDON (AP) — A decide ruled Thursday that the will of the late Prince Philip need to keep on being solution to safeguard the “dignity” of his widow Queen Elizabeth II, who is Britain’s head of state.
Philip died in April at the age of 99 soon after much more than seven decades of marriage to the queen.
Wills are commonly general public files in Britain, but for pretty much a century it has been customary for the wills of senior royals to be sealed on the buy of the Large Courtroom.
Decide Andrew McFarlane explained Philip’s will should really be sealed for 90 several years. Following that, it can be be opened in private and consideration offered to whether it must be revealed.
“I have held that, due to the fact of the constitutional place of the Sovereign, it is correct to have a distinctive observe in relation to royal wills,” McFarlane reported in a prepared judgment. “There is a want to increase the safety afforded to definitely private features of the life of this confined team of individuals in purchase to sustain the dignity of the Sovereign and close users of her family members.”
The choose stressed that he experienced not found or been explained to of the contents of the will.
McFarlane claimed that as president of the Superior Court’s spouse and children division, he is custodian of a secure which holds 30 envelopes, every single that contains the sealed will of a deceased royal, including the late Queen Mom Elizabeth and the latest queen’s sister, Princess Margaret. Both of those died in 2002.
In the several years that followed, a male who claimed to be Margaret’s illegitimate son, Robert Brown, fought a unsuccessful court docket fight to have each wills unsealed in buy to find proof for his declare.
The decide reported that while there might be “public curiosity” about royal wills, “there is no genuine public curiosity in the community understanding this wholly personal information.”
The ruling arrived soon after a court docket hearing in July that was held in non-public. Media organizations had been not permitted to make the case for publishing the will.
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