Here's Why Prince Philip's Will Won't Become Public For 90 Years

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and long-time husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died earlier this year at the age of 99. Having been a senior member of the Royal Family, the prince's last will and testament is not privy to the same requirements as those of other British civilians, and following a century-old convention for the nearly century-old Duke, his will shall be sealed from the public for at least 90 years (via BBC). 

The British High Court ruled that Philip's will should be sealed, as is the case for 30 other wills of past Royal Family members, a tradition dating back to the younger brother of Queen Mary, Prince Francis of Teck, who died in 1910. The sealing process began when Francis left valuable jewels to his mistress, a decision that signaled to the High Court that the public might not be better off for knowing the last wishes of Royal Family members. These wills have previously been sealed for an indefinite amount of time, with Philip's being the first to have a timeline to be (potentially) revealed, albeit nine decades into the future when most who have any memory of the man will be gone.

The decision was made to protect Queen Elizabeth

According to Us Weekly, the decision to seal Philip's will was also made with the Queen in mind, in order to protect her dignity. The couple were married for more than 70 years, and the High Court judge thought it was best to keep his last requests to her and their family private, and at least prevent any Prince Francis-like scenarios from reaching the public. Even if the will were to be perfectly innocent, the High Court said they wanted to keep the Queen away from the public conjecture and questions that would arise had the document been made freely available to the public.

In 90 years, the new amendment will allow the Duke's will to be opened in private and read. It can then be decided if it will be made available to the masses of the early 22nd century. The process will also begin affecting the 30 wills kept locked away in a safe.

One will that doesn't need to be unsealed is that of Princess Diana, who rebuked tradition by having her will open to the public. For the most part, she left everything to her sons (via BBC). Those of us lucky enough to survive until 2111 will get a chance to learn what Prince Philip left for his loved ones — maybe.