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The Queen awaits difficult decision following Prince Philip's heartbreaking death

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away in April 2021

queen prince philip
Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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It's been just over a year since the Queen lost her beloved husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.

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The Duke of Edinburgh – married to the monarch since 1947 – was 99 when he passed away at Windsor Castle on 9 April 2021.

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But it seems details of his affairs are still very much at the forefront.

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It has been confirmed that The Guardian newspaper is challenging a decision to exclude the press from a hearing over whether the Duke of Edinburgh's will should remain secret at the Court of Appeal.

queen prince philip

Prince Philip passed away on 9 April 2021

Traditionally, 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.

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The current president, Sir Andrew McFarlane, heard 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 last year.

queen duke of edinburgh

The royal couple were married for 73 years

Sir Andrew, as President of the Family Division of the High Court, is custodian of a safe which holds 30 envelopes – each containing the sealed will of a deceased member of the royal family.

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The Guardian is now challenging the decision to hold that hearing in private, arguing that it was "disproportionate and unjustified", via PA.

queen duke of edinburgh 1z

The Queen was utterly devoted to her husband

In papers filed with the Court of Appeal earlier this year, lawyers for The Guardian argued the High Court judge "erred in law" by denying the media an opportunity to make representations as to whether the hearing of the application to seal up the will should go ahead in private, with no representatives of the press allowed to attend.

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The Court of Appeal granted The Guardian permission to appeal in January. There is no challenge against the decision to seal the will.

"The High Court erred in failing to consider any lesser interference with open justice than a private hearing from which accredited members of the press should be excluded," lawyers for the newspaper said.

queen prince philip laughing

The couple had been happily married since 1947

"As a result, the decision to hear the application to seal up the will in private was disproportionate and unjustified."

They said there was a "strong public interest in transparency" and that it was wrong of the executor of Philip's estate to argue that the media's interest in the hearing was "prurient curiosity", adding: "These are fundamental matters of public interest concerning royal family members and the Sovereign in a constitutional monarchy."

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