Heritage

Duke of Windsor's Will to Be Unsealed For The Crown Writers

What are the rules on royal wills? What secrets can be found in them?
IMAGE NELFIX/ ALEX BAILEY
Comments

From the moment they are born to the second they breathe their last, members of the royal family are in the public eye. This they know well, but they should realize that even their most intimate words shared in confidence may come spilling out after their deaths.


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII until his abdication, passed away way in 1972 but people still clamor for any bits of information that revolve around the former king. The Daily Mail reports that Sir James Munby, head of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, has granted an archivist permission to open the will of the Duke of Windsor, to make a copy of it and re-seal it.

Although Oliver Irvine, assistant keeper of the Queen’s archives was tasked to open the will, it was researchers, reportedly The Crown’s writers, who requested for the copy. The Netflix series’ writers wanted to know who owns the copyright to the Duke of Windsor’s letters so they may include them on the show. The letter from Irvine read:

“We have previously been approached by researchers seeking permission to publish letters by the Duke of Windsor but have been unable to advise whether copyright is held by Her Majesty The Queen.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

With a copy of the will and codicil, we will be able to determine the identity of his residual beneficiary and begin the process of identifying the current copyright holder.”


The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson

The question on everybody’s minds is whether or not viewing a will, even a royal’s at that, is legal. According to The Telegraph, the wills of junior members of the royal family are open for public scrutiny. However, The Queen has ordered that her mother’s and Princess Margaret’s wills be sealed. Ever since 1911, the wills of the immediate members of the royal family, except for Diana, Princess of Wales, have been officially sealed. Wills were first sealed during the time of Queen Mary of Teck, to protect the information that her brother, Prince Frank, had left valuables to his mistress.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Almost 10 years ago, accountant Robert Brown claimed he was the illegitimate son of Princess Margaret and Group Captain Peter Townsend, and requested that her will be unsealed. However, the senior family judge at that time, Sir Mark Potter, rejected the request.

In the case of the Duke of Windsor’s will, Munby argues that the application to uncover the will’s contents is “quite plainly” justified. “It would be absurd to deny the Royal Archives copies of the will… of one who was born a Royal Prince, died a Royal Duke and was in his time His Majesty the King,” he adds.

There you have it. Will we ever get to see the contents of the will? Probably not, but we might get to learn more about the Duke of Windsor on The Crown.

h/t: Daily Mail

Comments
View More Articles About:
Recommended Videos
About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Features Editor
Hannah is originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
View Other Articles From Hannah
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
The young restaurateur tackles a cuisine closely associated with the family business but sets himself apart by showcasing each of Italy's regional specialties.
 
Share
The painting had spent the last 126 years in the home of a private collector in Europe.
 
Share
Master these pronunciations and you'll never think twice again.
 
Share
San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang remembers his roots and gives back to his hometown.
 
Share
Photographer Douglas Kirkland remembers the shoot fondly: "It was just myself, the camera, and Marilyn."
 
Share
Nonoo is a good friend of Meghan Markle's-and there's a good chance the Duchess will make an appearance at the ceremony.
 
Share
Rachel Green would no doubt approve of these dresses, blazers, and tops.
 
Share
Not only does it inform the cast’s performances, but its stripping down of the play’s setting to its barest elements underscores the universality and timelessness of its message.
 
Share
These are the six pieces you need to cop this season.
 
Share
It turns out that most of these emblematic charmers are jewelry timepieces.
 
Share
The modern property, which is a combination of two units, was designed by famed architect Claudio Silvestrin.
 
Share
The palace staff treated Harriet the monkey to a scone, and sent it home with a new corgi friend.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US