Elizabeth’s will joins it… Treasury somewhere in London contains more than 30 royal wills
Queen Elizabeth II’s will, if publicly available, would give a rare glimpse into the late queen’s fortune, unlike the wills of ordinary British citizens, it will be hermetically sealed and kept in a cupboard for at least 90 years.
The tradition of keeping the wills of deceased royals sealed goes back to 1910, when Prince Francis of Tech’s will was sealed and placed in a safe in an undisclosed location in London under the supervision of a judge, to be joined by more than 30 royal wills.
According to tradition, after the death of an important member of the royal family, the executor of his will applies to the head of the royal family’s department at the High Court in London to close it. Successive judges in this position have agreed.
These details were not known to the public until the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, died in April 2021, and it was signed by Judge Andrew MacFarlane to take care of the request to close his will.
The judge ruled that the will should be closed, but decided to make his ruling public to give the public an opportunity to understand what was going on and why.
The judge revealed the existence of the treasury containing the royal wills, and that, as the current head of the royal family department, he was responsible for it, although he was not aware of the contents of the documents sealed inside it.
When placed in the closet alongside her husband’s will, the late Queen’s will joins that of her mother Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret, who died in 2002.
Princess Margaret’s will was legally disputed in 2007 by Robert Brown, who said he was the Princess’ illegitimate son, and sought access to the will in order to support his claims. The courts dismissed his allegations as “unreasonable” and he was not allowed to see the document.
Prince Francis of Tech, whose will is the oldest kept in the Treasury, died in 1910 at the age of 40. He is the younger brother of Queen Mary, wife of King George V and grandmother of the late Queen Elizabeth II.