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The Guardian newspaper has decided to take legal action on the fact that the media was excluded from a hearing earlier this year, regarding Prince Philip’s Will. In September, a judge ruled that the Will would remain sealed for 90 years, and at the end of that time there would be a decision made as to whether it would be made public. There were representatives of the Duke’s estate there, but the media wasn’t told, and they weren’t allowed to come to the hearing. The attorney general represented the public’s interest.
The newspaper took issue with the way the hearing was handled, calling it a threat to open justice. The idea that the Attorney General is the only one who can speak to the interests of the public is one that the Guardian takes issue with, and the paper is arguing that the case should be heard again. The judge’s decision to not inform or allow the media is believed to be setting a precedent that the newspaper is concerned with.
Traditionally, members of the royal family have always had their Wills sealed. The petition to do that is heard in private, and has always been that way. As such, the courts generally don’t see a reason for this to change. Now, though, with the Guardian taking legal action, there is a possibility that this long-standing tradition may be in for some changes. Right now, the court is still very adamant that there isn’t any reason to make adjustments. But the battle isn’t over, and the newspaper intends to pursue the issue.
One of the most notable concerns for all of this is whether the newspaper will be alone in its fight, or whether it will bring more people and companies into the discussion. There is a possibility that this could turn into something that changes royal protocol in the future. Whether changes will be made in the matter remains to be seen.
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