Often, you might have heard people’s will being disclosed to their near and dear ones soon after their passing. But have you ever heard someone’s will being locked away for 90 long years?
If not, you’re in the right place ‘cuz today we’re letting out some information about Prince Philip’s secret will, which isn’t supposed to be revealed before 2111!
Unraveling the mystery behind Prince Philip’s will
Prince Philip, who passed away on April 9, 2021, aged 99, wrote down his last wishes on a piece of paper. That paper is today locked inside a secret London depository alongside those of 32 other senior royals. On November 25, 2021, details about this mysterious safe came to light, when the British Court released documents revealing the full list of royals whose wills have been locked away for ages. As per the list, wills dating back to Prince Francis of Teck make up the royal collection, and are under the supervision of High Court judge Sir Andrew McFarlane. The depository even comprises the wills of the late Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, and also of King Edward VIII, who stepped down from the throne in December 1936. From Prince Philip’s side, it includes the last wishes of Queen Mary, Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma, and Princess Beatrice.
In September 2021, during the hearing over the secrecy of Prince Philip’s last wishes, McFarlane revealed that he’s the custodian of the late Duke of Edinburgh’s will and is also responsible for 32 other senior royal members’ wills. He confirmed that the wishes date back to as long as Prince Francis of Teck in 1911, and the latest entry was made in 2002 when Queen Elizabeth, her late mother’s and sister’s wills were handed over. While closing the case, the 67-year-old stated at that time that the royal family deserves an enhanced level of privacy so that their dignity and role as a public figure stay intact. He even announced that any applications to unseal the will would only be entertained after 90 years. In case of any requests before that, it will be entertained only in the presence of a specific justification relating to the management of the deceased’s estate.
Why’s there a fuss about Prince Philip’s will?
Under British law, citizens automatically become public after their death, so that chances of fraud decrease and the beneficiaries are aware of their rights. However, for the last 100 years, the royals have managed to exempt themselves from this law. Most of their wills go directly into the safe and stay hidden for long periods to avoid any scandals or spread of rumors. However, since all Britishers don’t get this facility, it makes them feel as if the royals are above the law, which isn’t true.