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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Princess's 'son' court bid fails
Princess Margaret
Robert Brown claims Princess Margaret was forced to hand him over
A man who claims to be the illegitimate son of the late Princess Margaret has failed in his court bid to access her will and that of the Queen Mother.

Robert Brown, a 52-year-old accountant, had been seeking a High Court order to unseal both wills.

But Sir Mark Potter, the president of the Family Division, ruled the claim should be struck out as "vexatious".

But Mr Brown insisted he would appeal against the decision, adding: "In due course I hope to be vindicated."

'Perfectly rational'

Sir Mark said Mr Brown's bid was made "solely for the purpose of seeking to establish an imaginary and baseless claim.

"It seems from his own evidence that the origins of his assertion lie in thoughts, emotions and fantasies which have afflicted him comparatively recently in later life."

In a statement, Mr Brown said that he would apply for permission to appeal.

He added: "The president did accept that my claim was brought in good faith and that I have a genuine belief that I may be the child of Princess Margaret.

"My intention had never been to embarrass the Queen or other members of the Royal Family and I had long sought a response to my questions in private.

Frank Hinks QC, representing the executors of both estates, had previously argued that Mr Brown's claim was "scandalous" and founded on "an insane delusion".

However, Geoffrey Robertson QC, representing Mr Brown, said his client was "a perfectly rational man who seeks peace of mind".

Robert Brown
Mr Brown was seeking peace of mind, his barrister said.

Princess Margaret died in 2002 aged 71.

Mr Brown believes he is her son and 12th in line to the throne.

Although he was born on 5 January 1955 in Nairobi, Kenya, his birth was not registered until 2 February and the birth certificate gives the date of 4 June 1955.

His parents are registered as Cynthia and Douglas Brown.

Cynthia Brown was a model who worked for Hardy Amies - a favoured designer of the princess.

Research carried out by Mr Brown has convinced him the princess was forced to give up her "secret" son and he claims a mystery Privy Council meeting on the day he was born will back up his claim.

The wills of senior royals have been officially sealed since 1911.

Mr Brown claimed a public right to unseal both wills, having earlier failed to establish any private right to do so.

His solicitor, Amber Melville-Brown, said: "In an age when transparency for those in positions of power and privilege is paramount, it is incongruous that these royal wills, and the reasons for their closure, should remain closed to public scrutiny."



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