The Royal Family Has Hidden Assets Worth Over £180m, According To A New Report

Here’s what we know about the secret royal wills.

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The royal family at Buckingham Palace.
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For more than a century, it has been standard practice that the courts are asked to seal the wills of senior members of the royal family following their death. This includes the late Prince Philip, whose will is to be kept top secret for at least 90 years. Now, following a recent calculation by the Guardian, it has been claimed that the royal family has managed to keep secret wills that contain assets worth an estimated £187 million.

Generations of the Windsor family have kept details of their assets out of the public eye through legal applications that have been approved by the courts. These legal grants have blocked the publication of the family’s assets, which include properties, jewellery, and money, per the Guardian. The special permissions are views by many as controversial, as wills that belong to ordinary members of the British public are usually made public. However, because the value of the royal family’s estates has been published in public registers and declassified government files, the Guardian has estimated the monarchy’s overall wealth.

The publication reports that nine royal wills include assets worth between £5 million and £11.7 million - including Princess Margaret, who left behind £11.5 million upon her death in 2022, and the Duke of Fife, who left the equivalent of £79 million when he died back in 1912.

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In 2021, the Guardian also launched a legal battle against the attorney general, Michael Ellis, and the Queen’s private lawyers over a decision to exclude the media from a court hearing about the late Duke of Edinburgh’s will.

The outlet’s legal challenge is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, July 20, and run for two days. During the court case, the Guardian will argue that “the high court failed to properly consider whether the press should be allowed to attend the hearing,” and therefore failed to adhere to “the principle of open justice.”

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