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Britain’s royals used obscure legal procedure to hide distant relatives’ wills | Monarchy


Wills detailing the belongings of distant family of the royal household have been stored secret by an obscure authorized process, a court docket doc has revealed.

The Windsor household has during the last century managed to exempt itself from a regulation requiring the wills of British residents to ordinarily be made public.

The identities of the greater than 30 royal wills that had been sealed over that interval had not been formally made public.

That modified on Wednesday when a senior choose revealed the checklist of royals whose sealed wills are saved in a locked protected. The contents of the wills themselves stay secret.

One identify on the unique checklist launched by the court docket was Leopold de Rothschild, Edward VII’s shut pal, suggesting his will was made secret in 1917. It’s unclear how the British banker would have been in a position to obtain this, given the exemption was supposed to use to senior royals.

Hours after publishing its unique checklist on Wednesday the court docket issued a brand new checklist, with Leopold de Rothschild’s identify eliminated. A spokesperson for the court docket stated the inclusion of Rothschild’s identify on the unique checklist was “an error” as he was not a member of the royal household.

The official publication of the checklist discloses for the primary time the extent to which the key authorized process has been used – with out the data of the general public – to hide the wills of even minor members of the royal household.

One other identify on the checklist is Prince George Valdemar Carl Axel, who died in 1986. A member of the Danish royal household, he was solely distantly linked to the Windsor line by advantage of being a second cousin to the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

He was born and died in Denmark, and it’s not clear why an software to seal his will was made in London.

Different names on the checklist embody the Duke of Windsor, who was King Edward VIII till he abdicated the throne in 1936, in addition to extra obscure minor members of the Windsor household, similar to grandchildren of Queen Victoria and varied youngsters of George V and Queen Mary.

David McClure, a royal finance professional and creator of the ebook The Queen’s True Value, stated the contents of the checklist demonstrated how the sealing of wills, supposedly just for the highest-ranking members of the royal household, was actually way more extensively utilized.

“In the event you had been a royal of any European royal home you can, for those who made sufficient of a music and dance about it, have your will sealed. It does barely make a mockery of the entire course of that this needs to be for extra senior royals.”

Norman Baker, a former Liberal Democrat minister who has additionally written a ebook concerning the royals, steered some wills could have been sealed to cowl up “simply how a lot cash they’ve gathered from public funds”. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson stated the royal household didn’t want to remark.

For many years, legal professionals for the royal household have efficiently submitted authorized functions to the excessive court docket to have wills stored secret after the deaths of relations. However the usage of this process has drawn criticism, because it offers the royal household a proper that’s not granted to different British residents.

The most recent will to be sealed belonged to Prince Philip, who died this 12 months. At a secret listening to in July, the president of the household division of the excessive court docket, Sir Andrew McFarlane, authorised an software from the Queen’s non-public legal professionals and the lawyer normal to maintain his will secret for no less than 90 years.

McFarlane stated senior members of the royal household needed to be exempted from the regulation requiring the publication of wills. This was “needed to boost the safety afforded to the non-public lives of this distinctive group of people, with a purpose to shield the dignity and standing of the general public position of the sovereign and different shut members of her household”.

He revealed his ruling in September – the primary time {that a} judgment ordering the sealing of a will of a member of the royal household had been made public. McFarlane dominated that “a stage of transparency” had been established, including that the checklist of the sealed wills needs to be made public – an instruction that was realised on Wednesday.

Nonetheless, the small variety of events permitted to attend the court docket listening to, together with the lawyer normal, efficiently persuaded the choose to exclude the media from the listening to.

The Guardian is taking authorized motion to problem the choice to exclude the media from the listening to. Its legal professionals are looking for permission to argue that the excessive court docket’s failure to correctly contemplate whether or not the press needs to be allowed to attend the listening to or make representations constitutes such a critical interference with the precept of open justice that the case needs to be reheard.


Royal wills sealed by order of the president of the household division of the excessive court docket


1

Prince Francis Joseph Leopold Frederick of Teck

Prince Francis circa 1892

Probate London 17 February 1911
The youthful brother of Queen Mary of Teck, spouse of George V. Looking for to cowl up a intercourse scandal, Mary persuaded a choose to maintain it closed as it’s reported to have proven that he had bequeathed prized household jewels to a mistress.


2

Alexander William George, Duke of Fife

Duke Of Fife circa 1896

Probate London 24 Might 1912
A Scottish peer who married Princess Louise, the third and eldest little one of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.


3

Prince Maurice Victor Donald of Battenberg

Prince Maurice of Battenberg

Probate London 1 Might 1917
The youngest grandchild of Queen Victoria. Killed in motion in WWI, earlier than the British royal household relinquished their German titles and the Battenbergs modified their identify to Mountbatten.


1917
Was a British banker, a thoroughbred horse breeder, and a member of the outstanding Rothschild household. He was a detailed pal of Edward VII.


5

Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Augusta Carolinecirca 1880: Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Augusta Caroline of England (1822 - 1916), daughter of the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Administration (with Will) London 13 December 1920
A granddaughter of George III, Princess Augusta of Cambridge married into the Grand Ducal Home of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She was an aunt of Queen Mary.


6

Lord Leopold Louis Mountbatten

Lord Leopold Louis Mountbatten

Probate London 15 June 1922
A grandson of Queen Victoria, referred to as Prince Leopold of Battenberg, later modified to Mountbatten.


7

Helen Frederica Augusta, Duchess of Albany

The Duchess of Albany, c1900s

Probate London 29 December 1922
A member of the British royal household by marriage to Prince Leopold, youngest son of Queen Victoria.


8

Princess Helena Augusta Victoria, Princess Christian

Princess Christian,Princess Christian - Woodbury Princess Helena (Helena Augusta Victoria, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein by marriage 25 May 1846 - 9 June 1923) was a member of the British Royal Family, the third daughter and fifth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG/Getty Images)

The third daughter and fifth little one of Queen Victoria. She married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein.


9

Princess Frederica Sophia Maria Henrietta Amelia Theresa of Nice Britain

Princess Frederica Sophia Maria Henrietta Amelia Theresa of Great Britain

Probate London 25 Might 1927
Born in Hanover, the elder daughter of the Hereditary Prince of Hanover (later King George V of Hanover), within the UK she held the title of princess as a male-line great-granddaughter of King George III.


10

Princess Louise Victoria Dagmar, Princess Royal

Princess Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar, Princess Royal

Probate 13 April 1931
Probate London 5 June 1934

The third little one and eldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, and a youthful sister of King George V. Given the title Princess Royal in 1905.


11

Princess Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary

Princess Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary

Probate London 11 March 1936
The fourth little one and second daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, and a youthful sister of King George V.


12

Queen Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria of Norway

Maud of Wales.Photographic portrait of Maud of Wales (1869-1928) was Queen of Norway as spouse of King Haakon VII. Dated 20th Century. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Administration (with Will) London 16 February 1939
She was the spouse of King Haakon VII of Norway, and the youngest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.


13

Prince Arthur of Connaught

Prince Arthurcirca 1910: Prince Arthur of Connaught (1883 - 1938), son of the Duke of Connaught who was the third son of Queen Victoria. He was Governor-General of South Africa from 1920 - 1923. (Photo by W. & D. Downey/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Probate London 1 March 1939
A grandson of Queen Victoria, he was a British navy officer and served as governor normal of the Union of South Africa. He undertook all kinds of royal duties on behalf of George V, his cousin.


14

Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, Duchess of Argyll

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, sixth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and wife of John Campbell, Duke of Argyll. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Probate London 7 February 1940
The sixth little one and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In public life a powerful proponent of the humanities, increased schooling and the feminist trigger.


15

Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert, Duke of Connaught

Arthur, duke of ConnaughtPrince Arthur, duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1850-1942) son of queenVictoria of England, c. 1900. (Photo by APIC/Getty Images)

Probate Llandudno 10 March 1942
The seventh little one and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, he served as governor-general of Canada and later represented the monarchy all through the Empire.


16

Prince George Edward Alexander Edmund, Duke of Kent

Duke Of Kentcirca 1920: His Royal Highness George Edward Alexander Edmund (1902 - 1942), the Duke of Kent. (Photo by Edward Gooch Collection/Getty Images)

Probate Llandudno 27 January 1943
Fourth son of George V and Queen Mary, and a youthful brother of kings Edward VIII and George VI.


17

Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore of Battenberg

Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, later Princess Henry of Battenberg, 1857 – 1944Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, later Princess Henry of Battenberg, 1857 – 1944. Fifth daughter and youngest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Seen here aged 34. From The Strand Magazine, Vol I January to June, 1891. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Probate Llandudno 14 Might 1943
Fifth daughter and youngest little one of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.


18

Maud Alexandra Victoria Georgina Berth, Countess of Southesk

Princess Maud of Fife as an adult Maud Carnegie, Countess of Southesk

Probate Llandudno 22 March 1946
Princess Maud was a granddaughter of Edward VII.


19

Princess Louise Sophia Augusta Amelia Helena

Princess Louise Sophia Augusta Amelia Helena

Probate London 20 Might 1948
A granddaughter of Queen Victoria.


Durbar Emeraldscirca 1912: Mary of Teck (1867 - 1953), queen-consort to George V, wearing the Durbar Emeralds presented to her by India following the Delhi Durbar ceremony. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Probate London 5 August 1953
British Queen and spouse of George V. Grandmother to the Queen Elizabeth II.


21

Princess Franziska Josepha Louise Augusta Maria Christiane

Date: 1910-1915 - Princess Louise Auguste of Schleswig HolsteinDate: 1910-1915 - Princess Louise Auguste of Schleswig Holstein Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein VA, CI, GCVO, GBE, RRC (Franziska Josepha Louise Augusta Marie Christina Helena; 12 August 1872 – 8 December 1956)

Probate London 12 March 1957
A granddaughter of Queen Victoria.


22

Princess Alexandra Victoria Alberta Ediwina Louise, Princess Arthur of Connaught

‘HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught’, 1937. Artist: Unknown.Princess Alexandra, 2nd Duchess of Fife, 2nd Duchess of Fife (1891-1959), 1937. She was married to her cousin Prince Arthur of Connaught, grandson of Queen Victoria. Card No 17 of 48 from Coronation Souvenir cigarette cards produced for Tournament Cigarettes. [RJ Lea Ltd, Manchester, 1937] (Photo by The Print Collector/Getty Images) (Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise Duff; 17 May 1891 – 26 February 1959)

Probate London 23 April 1959
The eldest grandchild of King Edward VII and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.


23

Princess Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary, Princess Royal

HRH Princess MaryH.R.H. Princess Mary’, circa 1920. Mary, Princess Royal (1897-1965), daughter of King George V and Queen Mary of Teck, wearing a fur stole. [J. Beagles & Co., Ltd., London, circa 1920]. Artist Unknown. (Photo by The Print Collector/Getty Images) (Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary; 25 April 1897 – 28 March 1965)

Probate London 22 December 1965
Daughter of George V and Queen Mary. Attended at her marriage ceremony by Girl Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mom.


24

Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent

Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, August 1934. She became Duchess of Kent in November 1934 on her marriage to Prince George, Duke of Kent. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Probate London 11 October 1968
A Greek princess who married Prince George, the Duke of Kent and the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary. She was the mom of Prince Michael of Kent.


25

Prince William of Gloucester

William of GloucesterPrince William of Gloucester (1941 - 1972), 17th December 1962. Photo by Tom Hustler/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Prince William Henry Andrew Frederick of Gloucester

Probate London 24 October 1972
A grandson of George V and a cousin of Elizabeth II. He died aged simply 30 in an air crash.


King Edward VIII (1894 - 1972) in his naval uniform before his abdication from the throne. He succeeded to the throne in January 1936 and abdicated in December 1936 to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Prince Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, Duke of Windsor

Administration (with Will) London 17 November 1972
Higher referred to as Edward VIII, the previous king who abdicated the throne in 1936 with a purpose to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.


27

Girl Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth Ramsay

Princess Patricia of Connaught, c1900s-c1910s(?). Princess Patricia of Connaught (1886-1974) was the third and youngest child of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, the third son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. In 1919 she relinquished her royal status when she married a commoner, Alexander Ramsay, a Commander in the Royal Navy. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images) Lady Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth Ramsay

Probate London 17 April 1974
A granddaughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.


28

Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester

Prince Henry1935: Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900 - 1974), third son of George V, at the time of the announcement of his engagement to Lady Alice Montague-Douglas-Scott. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester

Probate London 9 September 1974
The third son of George V and Queen Mary, and governor-general of Australia from 1945 and 1947.


29

Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Admiral Louis Mountbatten(Original Caption) Photograph of Earl Mountbatten wearing his naval uniform, 1950.

Probate London 27 February 1980
Uncle of Prince Philip and second cousin as soon as eliminated of Elizabeth II. He served because the final Viceroy of India.


30

Princess Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline, Countess of Athlone

Criana Arrivals -- H.R.H. Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. April 07, 1962. (Photo by Barry James Gilmour/Fairfax Media via Getty Images) Princess Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline, Countess of Athlone

Probate London 30 June 1981
The final surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria.


31

Prince George Valdemar Carl Axel of Denmark

George Valdemar, 16.4.1920 - 29.9.1986, Prince of Denmark, half length, as Danish military attache in London, circa 1950,. Image shot 1948. Exact date unknown.BHKARN George Valdemar, 16.4.1920 - 29.9.1986, Prince of Denmark, half length, as Danish military attache in London, circa 1950,. Image shot 1948. Exact date unknown.

Probate London 20 Might 1987
Eldest son of Prince Axel of Denmark and second cousin of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.


Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930 - 2002), London, UK, circa 1990. (Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)

Probate London 24 June 2002
The youngest daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mom, and the youthful sister of Elizabeth II.


33

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mom

Queen MotherThe Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) visiting Ronald Gibson House, a nursing home in Tooting, London, England, Great Britain, 2 June 1992. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Probate London 15 April 2002
Spouse of King George VI and mom to the present queen, Elizabeth II.


* A spokesperson for the court docket stated the inclusion of Rothschild’s identify on the unique checklist was “an error” as he was not a member of the royal household.



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