Swedish royal family sues German publisher
Elizabeth Dacey-Fondelius · 26 Nov 2004, 17:06
Published: 26 Nov 2004 17:06 GMT+01:00
According to Der Spiegel, those alleged lies may well come at a cost of 40 million crowns - that's the amount which the royal household's hotshot German lawyer, Mattias Prinz, reportedly intends to squeeze out of the tabloid publisher for printing lies about the Swedish royal family.
But can we believe that? Back in Sweden the Royal Court is denying such litigious ferocity.
"That the Royal Family is demanding 40 million crowns is a fabrication," Elisabeth Tarras-Walhberg, the Court's spokeswoman, told Aftonbladet. "It appears as though the Editor-in-Chief for the publisher is spreading rumours in order to create a backlash against the Royal Family."
The Court's press secretary, Ann-Christine Jernberg, didn't want to go into detail regarding the size of the settlement they are looking for.
"Our lawyer, Mattias Prinz, will negotiate a figure," she said, adding that whatever money they won would go to charity.
Fighting the Germans is nothing new for the Swedish Royals. This summer the Royal court triumphed against one of the country's tabloids and the paper was forced to print a humiliating front-page retraction and admission of having published untruths.
Few believed that this would discourage future articles focusing on the Swedish princesses and their private lives.
However, since the lawsuit, the Klambt company has become noticeably more cautious in its reporting of the goings-on in the Swedish Royal Court. Klambt's editor-in-chief, Rüdiger Dienst, said, "We are prepared to allow the Court to review every article before publication."
But he also told Svenska Dagbladet that "40 million crowns" would devastate the company. Dienst played the sympathy card saying, "300 employees will be thrown out on the street if we are forced to pay up. Everyone is petrified of losing their jobs."
According to SvD the publishing house has an annual turnover of 60 million Euros. Most of that is earned by reporting scandals involving the various royals and celebrities of Europe.
Front page headlines have included: "Is that a millionaire kissing away Silvia’s tears?", "Prince William and Princess Madeleine swore their eternal love on Diana's grave", "Victoria - why she will never have children" and "The King gives Victoria a 'love nest island'".
The King's lawyer pointed out that the publisher has earned sizeable sums of money by publishing allegedly untrue stories at the Swedish Royals' expense. "It’s about time they pay back a bit of the profits," Prinz told SvD.
But it’s not just in Germany that the press likes to follow the royal’s private lives. Aftonbladet on Monday wrote about Princess Madeleine's "new best friend" - her brother’s girlfriend.
Prince Carl Philip's girlfriend, Emma Pernald, is chummier than ever with Madde. "Emma is like an extra big sister to Madeleine," a friend told Aftonbladet.
Emma Pernald, who hails from Gothenburg, has been CP's flame for five years and is warmly received by the royal family. During those five years the friendship between Madeleine and Emma has blossomed. These days they do things best friends do - walks on Gärdet, nights out at the movies, and shopping around town.
Friends describe Emma as "a super gal. She’s happy, curious and honest and not as ingratiating as others can be".
But their friendship might just yet prove to be a liability. Aftonbladet was quick to play out a worst-case scenario should the relationship between Carl Philip and Emma go sour.
"There's a risk that in the eventuality of a breakup between the Prince and his girlfriend a strain might be placed on the royal siblings," reported Aftonbladet's relationship expert, Eva Rusz.
Ms Rusz continued, "How would the Prince react should Madde continue to hang out with Emma even after a break up? In the worst case scenario Madde could be forced to choose between her friendship and her brother."
And what would the Germans say about THAT?