President of the Family Division Sir James Munby has rejected a bid to unseal the late Princess Margaret’s will.
The younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret died of a stroke in February 2002 at the age of 71. Her will was sealed in June of that year and its contents are not publicly known. The envelope which contains this document bears an inscription which reads:
“NOT TO BE OPENED WITHOUT LEAVE OF THE PRESIDENT”
At the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Sir James Munby explained that he had received an application to unseal it. The applicant, ‘Malika Benmusa’, set out why she wanted the document to be unsealed: she claimed her name had been changed as a child and that she believed “both names are in the will”.
In a brief and blunt judgment, the President of the Family Division declared that he had “no hesitation in concluding that [he] should strike out the applicant’s claim”. Sir James explained that the woman seeking to have the will unsealed had “not articulated any intelligible basis for her claim”.
What the woman presented as her evidence did not “assert [or] identify in any intelligible way … any link with HRH Princess Margaret or any link with her will” he said. Additionally, she had not “identified the grounds or the source or sources of the various beliefs upon which she relies” in her bid.
Sir James called the application “hopelessly defective” and rejected it outright.
Read the full judgment here.
Photo by Justin Henry via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.