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Here's why Prince Philip's will is going to remain private

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away earlier this year

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Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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Prince Philip sadly passed away on 9 April 2021, and under a longstanding convention the late royal's will is going to remain private.

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It is custom that following the death of a senior royal an application is filed to seal their will. This means that their wills are not open to the public like others are.

WATCH: Princess Anne pays emotional tribute to father Prince Philip

This was confirmed in a ruling published by Sir Andrew McFarlane, the President of the Family Division of the High Court, on Thursday.

It ordered that the Duke of Edinburgh's will be sealed for 90 years from the grant of probate – the formal process which confirms the authority of an executor to administer a deceased person's estate – and that it may only be opened after that date in private.

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In his ruling, Sir Andrew said that the move would "maintain the dignity of the Sovereign and close members of her family".

He added that the ruling was to make as much detail as possible public without "compromising the conventional privacy afforded to communications from the Sovereign".

prince philip commonwealth australia© Photo: Getty Images

The Duke's will has been sealed for 90 years

A private hearing for the case was heard in July with lawyer from Philip's estate and the Attorney General's office present.

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The application was held in private as a public hearing was deemed to have been very likely to "generate very significant publicity and conjecture".

However, in the interest of public interest, Sir Andrew revealed that he hadn't seen or been told the content of the Duke's will, and only knew when it would be executed and by whom.

the queen prince philip epsom derby© Photo: Getty Images

It's a longstanding tradition that senior royals have their wills locked away

Earlier this month, it was announced that the late royal would be honoured by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution with a new lifeboat named after him.

The 'Duke of Edinburgh' boat will go into service at Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk sometime in late 2022.

Movingly, the boat will be in use just a short distance from the Queen's private estate, Sandringham, where the Prince spent most of his time after he retired from public life.

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