Her Majesty the Queen sets a fine example by having her own Will. It seems even the Royals have their wishes when it comes to distributing their estates. However, the document is not public property, and sadly, we are not allowed to see its contents.
In 1910, Prince Francis, brother-in-law of King George V, died at the age of thirty-nine. He was by all accounts a Prince who enjoyed the intimate company of young ladies, and subsequently bequeathed family jewels known as the
emeralds, to the Countess of Kilmorey. There was also gossip of a love child. The then Duchess of York, Mary succeeded in preventing the Prince’s Will from becoming public property, but a copy turned up in Ireland a few years ago. Incidentally, Mary bought the jewels from the Countess and wore them at her husband’s coronation the following year. Cambridge
Since then, it is customary to seal Royal Wills. However, a couple of years ago a committee was formed to review the custom because it became known that some Royal estates did not paid inheritance tax, for example the Queen Mother left her entire estate to the Queen free of tax, and Princess Margaret avoided paying a lot of tax by gifting assets amongst her family. Their Wills would have revealed the extent and the methods used. In addition, the Will reveals the true ownership of special assets.
Princess Diana’s Will is public property, and in a future blog I will write about its contents. For now though, we can assume that Will’s Will will not be made available to us, at least for a very long.
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