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More royal secrets…?!

Diane Hall


British Royal Family

The Royal Family is rarely out of the news these days. What with the Epstein scandal and Prince Andrew, the suggestion that William cheated on Kate at some point during their marriage, and the regular attacks on Harry and Meghan, not a day goes by without at least one of them appearing in a news article somewhere.

Maybe the sheer level of exposure that comes with the job is one reason why Prince Philip insisted on his will being sealed. Such a legal order ensures that the content of said will remains secret and utterly confidential for 90 years, after which the details can be made public. No copies of the will can be made during this time, and the financial amount of his estate has also been withheld.

Philip is amongst 30 royals who asked for their wills to be sealed upon their deaths; in fact, almost every prominent royal who died during the twentieth century said the same, the first being Prince Francis of Teck, brother of Queen Mary, in 1910.

So, even in death, the royals have their own rules and laws. Some people see them as almost a different species…there’s them, then there’s us. If you need proof that they don’t live like everyone else, here are some facts about the Queen herself:

Bank of England £20 note

Bank of England £20 note

· The Queen cannot be arrested. She ‘owns’ the courts and most cases that appear within them are commissioned by the crown, i.e., Queen Elizabeth ll. You will never see her on jury duty. It isn’t so much that she’s above the law—she IS the law

· On a similar note, because UK passports are issued in Queen Elizabeth ll’s name, she doesn’t need one when travelling abroad, nor does she need a driving licence to drive

· The queen automatically has legal custody of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.

· It’s probably known that she owns all the swans in England, but did you know that she owns all the dolphins and whales that swim within three miles of the UK coastline, too?

· The queen has her own poet, the Poet Laureate, who’s required to pen ditties for numerous royal occasions

· She has her own cash machine in the basement of Buckingham Palace (not for her, standing in a queue, ten-deep, outside Barclays)

· She can’t vote in a general election to decide her government; she has to remain unbiased

· Don’t bother asking for her autograph if you ever cross paths with her, as she’s not allowed to sign her name—to prevent never-do-wells copying her signature

Such hallowed status, which Prince Philip enjoyed by extension. It’s perhaps no surprise, therefore, that his finances and what he chose to bestow to his family has been kept secret. On the ruling of his will, the most senior judge in the family courts, Sir Andrew McFarlane, said, ‘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.’

As mentioned, we see, hear and read enough about the royals every day. Maybe we should appreciate that Philip wished to keep some things very private at the end of a life of very public service.

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