Why Prince Philip's will is set to remain private for 90 years, according to High Court Judge

The Queen and Prince Philip
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Philip's will is to be kept secret for 90 years for a special reason.

Prince Philip's will is expected to remain private for a further 90 years in order to protect the Queen's 'dignity', it has been revealed.

The High Court has ruled that the Duke of Edinburgh's financial details of his will, are to remain private for the next 90 years.

This is to protect the Queen's dignity and her constitutional role, as Prince Philip was married to her Majesty for 73 years (opens in new tab).

Prince Philip back in April died aged 99 (opens in new tab), just months away from celebrating his 100th birthday.

For more than a century, the rule has it, that following the death of a senior member of the royal family, an application to seal their will is made to the president of the family division of the high court.

As a result, wills of senior members of the royal family are not open to public inspection in the way a will would ordinarily be.

It comes after Prince Philip's death certificate confirmed his cause of death (opens in new tab).

Prince Philip's will

The application to seal Prince Philip's will was made to the current president, Sir Andrew McFarlane, who heard a legal argument from lawyers representing Philip’s estate and the attorney general – who represents the public interest in such matters – at a private hearing in July.

It was ruled that Philip’s will remain sealed for 90 years from the grant of probate – the formal process that confirms the authority of an executor to administer a deceased person’s estate – and may be opened only in private even after that date.

In making the ruling, the judge said, “I have held that, because of the constitutional position of the sovereign, it is appropriate to have a special practice in relation to royal wills.

Prince Philip and the Queen

“There is a need to enhance the protection afforded to truly private aspects of the lives of this limited group of individuals in order to maintain the dignity of the sovereign and close members of her family.”

He said the ruling was to make as much detail as possible public without “compromising the conventional privacy afforded to communications from the sovereign”.

Prince Philip's memory was recently given the ultimate honor from the RNLI (opens in new tab) when it named a new lifeboat after him.

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A photo posted by on

A recent documentary paid tribute to the late Duke, with Prince Charles, Harry and William giving their memories along with other members of the royal family.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.