Bid to unseal Princess Margaret’s will fails

family law

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.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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4 comments

Nick Thomas-Webster - March 16, 2017 at 10:42am

This will be to do with a child she had whilst young. Held in an institution in Redhill so eventually institutionalised. Must be still alive which is why they won’t allow details to be known publicly ?

Andrew - March 16, 2017 at 11:16am

The applicant who is mentioned in the judgment, who thought he was HRH’s illegitimate child (as we used to say), reminded me of “I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue” and the mystery voice saying
_
Mr Brown thinks he is the Queen’s nephew.
Mr Brown thinks he is the Queen’s nephew.
_
There are, it appears, a lot of them about!

Andrew - March 16, 2017 at 11:47am

Yes, Nick. Of course. And NASA faked the moon landings. And Lord Lucan shot JFK from the grassy knoll. And Princess Di is on tour with Elvis and Shergar.

Dave - April 13, 2017 at 12:39am

The applicant needs to take legal advice when submitting applications, got to know what information to provide and how to word it to stand any chance of the application being granted.

Results of an independent DNA test and expert witness might be a good start (obviously).

Anyway, with the death being that long ago, I am sure the executors of the will will have found all the heirs to the will by now.

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