Why Prince Philip's Will Is Going to Stay Private

Judges have rejected a claim from The Guardian that challenges a prior ruling to seal Prince Philips’ will for at least 90 years. Find out why the will's details will remain under lock and key.

By Kelly Gilmore Jul 30, 2022 1:41 AMTags
Watch: Prince Philip, Husband of Queen Elizabeth, Dies at Age 99

Prince Philip's will is not going to be made public for quite some time.

After his passing in April, it was ruled by the U.K.'s High Court that the contents of Prince Philip's are to remain private for at least 90 years. Following this decision, The Guardian legally challenged the fact that members of the media were not present at a July 2021 hearing during which the ruling was passed down, per BBC News. Although the outlet argued that there was a "lack of external scrutiny," judges have now rejected The Guardian's claim.

Why? The judges, Sir Geoffrey Vos, Dame Victoria Sharp and Lady Justice King, ruled on July 29 that there were "exceptional" circumstances for the decision to be made in private, per the outlet. The ruling found that there was no obligation to tell the press about the hearing as it would risk a "media storm" occurring.

"These circumstances are, as we have said, exceptional," the ruling said. "We are not sure that there is a specific public interest in knowing how the assets of the Royal Family are distributed."

The Royal Family Attends Prince Philip's Memorial

The move to keep Prince Philip's will a secret comes as a decision to protect the "dignity and standing" of Queen Elizabeth II and it's not an unheard of move, per BBC News. The wills of senior royal family members have been asked to be sealed for over a century.

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Following the court's ruling, judge Andrew McFarlane, who is president of the Family Division of the High Court, gave his thoughts on the matter.

"I accepted the submission that, whilst there may be public curiosity as to the private arrangements that a member of the Royal Family may choose to make in their will," McFarland said, per the outlet. "there is no true public interest in the public knowing this wholly private information."

E! News has reached out to The Guardian for comment but did not hear back.

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