May LJ grants permission in 'false title' dispute
The Defendant in a libel claim brought by the husband of the daughter of the former King of Romania has today been granted permission to appeal against a finding that the publication was not protected by qualified privilege.
Prince Radu of Hohenzollern–Veringen brought libel proceedings against the editor and publisher of the magazine Royalty Monthly, which has a UK circulation of 6,000 copies, over an article which Eady J has ruled bore, inter alia, the defamatory meanings that there is a very strong case that he has used a false title to deceive people into according him access to social circles and official roles; that he has created a security risk because what he has done has exposed him to blackmail; and that he has also falsely claimed to have been adopted by the Hohenzollerns.
The same Judge heard the issue of qualified privilege as a preliminary issue and held that the article was not published on an occasion of privilege, whether that be common interest, Reynolds or reportage.
Today May LJ granted the Defendant permission to appeal in relation to the Reynolds aspect of that finding, indicating that there remained uncertainties in respect of this strand of qualified privilege.