Brit claims to be the real King of Romania and is wanted over £126m fraud

A Brit who says he is Romania’s real king is fighting an extradition from France to Bucharest for property fraud which he says is an attempt to put an end to his hopes for royal status.

Paul Philippe Al Romaniei, also known as Paul of Romania, is the subject of an extradition warrant issued in 2020.

He has been given a jail term of three years and four months for influence peddling and aiding and abetting a crime and was convicted along with 17 other defendants, reports The Times.

The conviction was for involvement in a scam to procure properties – including Romania’s former royal farm, confiscated during the communist era – and cost the country €145million, according to officials.

But Mr Al Romaniei, 75 – who has British, French and Romanian nationality – has said he was only trying to reclaim what was his, due to his royal status and is fighting the extradition in the Court of Appeal in Paris.

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Mr Al Romaniei said: “I have done nothing illegal or wrong, I trust France to get me out of this nightmare.”

Romania had a monarchy from 1881 to 1947 before it became a republic.

Mr Al Romaniei is the son of Carol Lambrino and Hélène Henriette Nagavitzine.

His father was the elder son of King Carol II of Romania and Zizi Lambrino. But Carol was made an illegitimate child when his parents’ marriage was annulled, meaning he no longer was heir to the throne.

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Mr Al Romaniei claims that he is the rightful head of the royal house of Romania.

He now says Romania is targeting him as he is from the illegitimate branch of the country’s royal family and asked the court to reject the extradition request on the grounds that it was a political move to get him out of the picture.

Laurent Pasquet-Marinacce, his lawyer, told the court: “The acts that got (Mr Al Romaniei) convicted are directly connected to the status as royal heir that he claims.”

The appeal court in Paris is to give judgement on the extradition request on November 29.

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