What’s in a name? European Court rules against noble title


Berlin (AP) – A German man who added nobility titles to his name after obtaining dual citizenship in Britain will have to settle with being plain-old Nabiel Peter Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff in his native land following a ruling from the European Court of Justice. The Luxembourg-based court said Thursday that EU member states aren’t always obliged to recognize name changes of a citizen who has dual citizenship with another in the bloc that contain “tokens of nobility” not accepted by that state. Germany abolished titles of nobility in 1919, but the man added both “Graf” and “Freiherr” – Count and Baron – to his last name when living in Britain more than a decade ago, becoming Peter Mark Emanuel Graf von Wolffersdorff Freiherr von Bogendorff. Upon return home, German authorities rejected the change.