It is unlikely that the
Queen’s final will and testament will ever become public knowledge, with wills
of members of the royal family being sealed. The tradition dates back to 1822,
with a high court judge ruling that King George III’s will did not need a grant
of probate, which gives the legal authority to an executor to carry out a will.
In 1910, this courtesy was
extended to other senior members of the royal family, with Prince Francis of
Teck, a brother of the Queen Mother, having his will sealed.
This precedent has been
challenged in the courts, with two people claiming to be children of Princess
Margaret attempting to unseal her will, although both were rejected.
The only time a successful
challenge was mounted was in 2017 when the Librarian and Assistant Keeper of
the Queen’s Archives requested the unsealing of King Edward VIII’s will in
order to learn the correct ownership of certain literary works.
A judge accepted the
application, but itemized a transition process of the documents to the
librarian and emphasized that only the librarian may view the content, before
sealing the will again.
A challenge was launched to
unseal the will of Prince Philip, and although it was unsuccessful it did
break precedent as the judge imposed a 90-year time limit on keeping the well
sealed, instead of the usual indefinite period.
When that 90 years lapse,
however, it will only be unsealed for specific individuals who will then invite
the court as to whether to seal it once again.
Although we will never learn
what the Queen wrote in her will, we do know one aspect as she left her
beloved corgis, Sandy and Muick, to her son Prince Andrew and
ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.