The Queen is set to celebrate some good news related to her late husband Prince Philip’s will and a challenge from The Guardian newspaper whether it should be kept secret from the public
The Queen pleased to hear that the contents of her late husband Prince Philip‘s will is to remain private for the time being.
last July, The guard Zeitung appealed to the Court of Appeals against a judge’s decision to exclude the press a hearing dealing with Philip’s will.
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But on Friday, the newspaper lost the appeals court.
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Senior judges dismissed the newspaper’s appeal, ruling that it was not a case where “fairness required that the media be informed of the hearing or asked to comment before the verdict”.
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Sir Geoffrey Vos and Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Lady Justice King, said they could not see how the media could be made aware of the fact that the hearing was taking place “without risking the feared media storm”.
They added: “The hearing came at an extremely sensitive time for the Sovereign and her family and those interests would not have been protected if lengthy hearings had been reported in the press rather than on a single occasion where all the reasons for what had been fully decided was published.”
The Queen sat alone at Prince Philip’s funeral last year
The judges also said the circumstances of the case were “extraordinary”. Sir Geoffrey Vos and Dame Victoria Sharp added: “It is true that the law applies equally to the royal family, but that does not mean that the law has the same results in all situations. These circumstances, as we have already said, are exceptional.
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“We are not sure there is a concrete public interest in knowing how the royal family’s wealth is divided.
“A perceived lack of transparency might be a matter of legitimate public debate, but the (Non-Contentious Probate Rules) allow wills and their values to be hidden from the public in some cases. The judge properly applied the statutory test in this case.”
Prince Philip has died at the age of 99
Prince Philip died in April 2021, just two months before his 100th birthday. By convention, the will of a senior member of the royal family is sealed upon application to the President of the High Court’s Family Division. This means that the wills of senior members of the royal family are not as publicly available as a will would normally be.
The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, ordered in a judgment last October that Philip’s will remain sealed for 90 years and after that can only be opened privately.
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