A court document has shown that the royal family kept the wills distant relatives secret by using an obscure legal process. 

According to British law, wills are required to be published. But, the senior royals and royal families are exempted from this obligation. This exemption was used by the royal family to sign the wills several distant relatives in the past 100 years. 

Over 30 monarchs had their wills kept private, even with the identities of their executors.

But on Wednesday, a senior judge published the list of names – though the contents of the wills themselves remain secret and locked away.

The convention of sealing royal wills was discovered to be used by distant relatives. 

Prince George Valdemar Carl Axel was one of those names. This second cousin to Prince Philip died in 1986. Although his will was sealed in London, the Danish prince of Denmark was also born and died in Demark.  

Among the names revealed was Prince George Valdemar Carl Axel, who died in 1986 and was a second cousin to Prince Philip

Prince George Valdemar Carl Axel was one of those names. This second cousin to Prince Philip died in 1986.

Prince William of Gloucester (right in 1958), a grandson of George V and a cousin of Elizabeth II who died aged just 30 in an air crash is on the list

Prince William, a grandson of George V and cousin to Elizabeth II (right in 1958), is listed on this list.

The Queen Mother is also on the list. The wills of more than 30 royals were kept under wraps with even their identities sealed until Wednesday

It also includes the Queen Mother. The identities of over 30 royals, including their wills, were sealed up until Wednesday.

First on the list: Prince Francis Joseph Leopold Frederick Frederick of Teck. He was the younger brother to Queen Mary of Teck. 

It is said that Mary persuaded a judge to keep her brother’s will sealed to cover up a sex scandal, after he gave A mistress can inherit family treasures.

Others who received their wills were the Duke and Duchess of Windsor who was King Edward VIII, until he abdicated his throne on the throne.

There are many other obscure family members, such as Lady Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth Ramsay’s grandchildren. 

Prince William of Gloucester was a great-grandson of George V, and a cousin to Elizabeth II. He died in an airplane crash at the age of 30. 

Strangely, a non-royal was also featured on the original list, banker Leopold de Rothschild, a close fried of Edward VII.

This exemption applies only to royals, but a spokesperson for the court later stated that it could be extended to other courts as well. The inclusion Rothschild’s surname on the original list was “an error”. They confirmed that Rothschild’s will was never sealed and are currently trying to determine how the error occurred. 

The scandal of the jewels led Queen Mary to seal her brother’s will.

Queen Mary's brother Prince Francis of Teck

Prince Francis, the brother of Queen Mary, is now Teck

The practice of sealing Royal wills began when Queen Mary’s brother Prince Francis of Teck died of pneumonia in 1910 aged 39.

He was known to gamble and lady-sex and left valuable family jewels known as the Cambridge Emeralds to Ellen Constance (the Countess) of Kilmorey.

It was suggested that he had an unborn child.

Mary sealed her will because she was afraid of scandal right before the coronation.

Mary bought the jewels back from Mary. She wore them during George V’s coronation.

Diana, Queen of England and Prince Philip wore the emeralds.

The last will that was sealed went to Prince Philip who, at 99 years old, died in April.     

David McClure (a royal finance expert, author, and editor of The Queen’s True Worth) told The Guardian the Guardian that it showed the exemption had been more widely distributed than was expected.

He said: ‘If you were a royal of any European royal house you could, if you made enough of a song and dance about it, have your will sealed. This does make some sense, but it should not be done for senior royals. 

Norman Baker was a Liberal Democrat Minister who suggested that certain wills might have been sealed in an effort to conceal ‘just how many money they’ve accumulated from public resources’. 

The secret hearing took place in July. At the meeting, the head of the family division at the high court granted permission to the Queen’s private legal team and the Attorney General for Prince Philip’s will to remain secret for at minimum 90 years.

Sir Andrew McFarlane stated that senior royals had to be exempted by the law which requires publication of wills.

Sir Andrew ordered that Philip’s will is to remain 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 may only be opened in private even after that date. 

According to the judge, the court ruled that it was appropriate, given the constitutional situation of the Sovereign to establish a special practice regarding royal wills.

“There’s a need for greater protection to the truly private parts of these limited individuals’ lives in order to preserve the dignity and respect of the Sovereign, her close family members, and to protect their privacy.

According to him, the goal of the ruling was not to compromise the privacy that is normally afforded communications from The Sovereign but to give as much information as possible to the public.

He stated that it was in the public’s interest to clarify that he hadn’t seen or been informed anything about Philip’s will other than its date and identity.

Sir Andrew stated that he decided to keep the hearing earlier in private due to the possibility of generating a lot of publicity and conjecture through a series hearings and announcements.

This would have been a violation of the rights to dignity and privacy in genuinely private matters, he concluded.

He said, “The publicity would therefore in part defeat the core purpose for the application.”

Judge said that while there might be some public curiosity about the private arrangements made by members of the royal family in their wills, it is not in the interest of the public to know this information.

“The media interest is commercial in this regard.” It would generate a great deal of publicity, and would not be in the interest of the Sovereign’s dignity.

Sir Andrew stated that the Attorney General was present to protect the public interest and there wasn’t any legal basis for media organizations making further representations.

Princess Margaret is also on the list. Despite the names being revealed, the contents of the will will stay secret

Also on the list is Princess Margaret. The contents of the will, despite the identities being disclosed by the names, will remain secret

Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, uncle of Prince Philip and second cousin once removed of Elizabeth II is on the list

Louis Mountbatten (1st Earl Mountbatten from Burma), uncle to Prince Philip, second cousin of Elizabeth II, is included on this list

Several more obscure members of the family, including grandchildren of Queen Victoria like Lady Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth Ramsay are also on the list

There are many other obscure family members, such as Lady Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth Ramsay’s grandchildren.

Comes after it was ruled that Prince Philip's will is to remain secret for 90 years to protect the 'dignity' of the Queen and 'close members of her family'

This comes after it was decided that Prince Philip’s will must be kept secret for 90 year to preserve the dignity of Queen Elizabeth II and the family members who are close to her.

At the private hearing, lawyers representing Philip’s estate argued that the news of the hearing and the application “might generate wholly unverified conjecture” which would be deeply intrusive to Queen Elizabeth and her family.

Sir Andrew explained the history of other similar decisions. He said that Prince Francis, the first member the royal family to have his will sealed under the guidance of the court president, was Prince Francis.

He was Queen Mary’s younger brother and, after his death in 1910 an application was filed for the sealing and non-publication of his will.

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

According to him, the oldest envelope was labelled with Prince Francis of Teck’s will, while the latest additions were the wills and testaments of Princess Margaret and Queen Mother, who are both the Queen’s sisters.

Sir Mark Potter (then president of the family division) rejected a request by Robert Andrew Brown to unseal the wills Queen Mother and Princess Margaret in 2007.

According to Mr Brown, he claimed to have been the illegitimate children of Princess Margaret. He also stated that he was interested in inspecting and unsealing the wills to prove that claim.

However, his claim was not accepted by the court and was struck out as ‘vexatious and an abuse of process’ – a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal.