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Albert II admits he is Delphine Boël's biological father

20:12 27/01/2020

Belgium's former king, Albert II, has admitted he is the father of Belgian artist Delphine Boël, after a seven-year-long paternity legal battle.

Albert had spent 20 years denying Boël's claim to be his daughter. She began legal action against him in 2013 when he abdicated and lost his immunity.

Last year, the 85-year-old former monarch was ordered to undergo a DNA test or face a fine of €5,000 per day. Albert's lawyer said in a statement on Monday that he wished "to put an end, with honour and dignity, to this painful procedure".

He added that "since the birth of Delphine Boël, he has not been involved in any family, social or educational decision whatsoever relating to [her]".

Boël does not earn the title of princess and is not in line to the throne, because her birth happened out of wedlock. Her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, had a long affair with Albert between 1966 and 1984.

Claims of the extra-marital affair - and the resulting birth of a girl - first surfaced in a book about Queen Paola by Flemish journalist Mario Danneels in 1999.

Now she has been proven to be Albert's daughter, Boël potentially stands to inherit, though how much would depend on whether Albert dies before his wife, Paola.

According to their marriage contract, Paola will inherit a lion’s share of Albert’s estate, which would then only go to the children she had with Albert. In other words: King Filip, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent.

Boël's lawyer, Marc Uyttendaele said his client "accepted for years to live with the secret of her origins, in the general interest". He said she had taken legal action "to avoid her children being faced with the same difficulties and the same suffering".

Written by The Bulletin