Queen arranged deal on royal wills
Jan 22,2008 00:00
LONDON - Queen Elizabeth II of Britain made a secret deal to have the wills of her mother and sister sealed, according to testimony before an Appeals Court.
The Daily Telegraph reported a transcript of the hearing last month shows the attorney general and the judge then heading the family court agreed in 2002 to allow all royal wills to remain under seal in the future. Even Mark Potter, who succeeded Elizabeth Butler-Ross as head of the family division, was not told of the agreement.
The agreement was disclosed at a hearing on a bid by Robert Brown to learn the contents of Princess Margaret's will. Brown, 52, an accountant from the island of Jersey, claims to be the illegitimate son of the princess and Peter Townsend. The princess broke off her engagement to Townsend in 1955 because he was divorced.
Royal wills have been sealed by tradition since 1911, when Queen Mary, Elizabeth's grandmother, asked to have her younger brother's will kept secret. She did not want the public to learn that Prince Francis of Teck had left jewelry to his mistress.
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