If a bid for dignity was behind the secrecy of his last testament, I’ve got news for Judge McFarlane
A legal challenge has been launched against an earlier court ruling, reached in secret, that the contents of Prince Philip’s will should be concealed for 90 years. News to which the reflexive reaction, along with distaste for an uncontested intervention that protected royal privilege even in death, is inevitably, what’s in the will? Is it as promising as Lord Mountbatten’s diaries, whose censored passages, not necessarily involving his riding-boot fetish, are being demanded by a biographer?
Philip’s bequests must surely be more than slightly awkward if they have to be hidden until long after the Queen is beyond embarrassment and, maybe no less pertinently, The Crown’s showrunners are likewise departed. The judge responsible, Sir Andrew McFarlane, must, if he wasn’t acting purely out of servility, have concluded that transparency would be riskier to royal wellbeing than the public appetite for disclosure he has, with a flair worthy of a 19th-century serial novelist, preferred to stimulate.