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Albert II loses appeal against paternity DNA test
The former king of Belgium, Albert II, could be fined €5,000 a day if he refuses to undergo a DNA test in a long-running legal battle by a Belgian artist who claims Albert is her biological father.
Albert was ordered by a court last October to take the test but appealed against the ruling. His claim was rejected by a Brussels appeals court on Thursday. He will now receive a summons from an expert to carry out comparative DNA analyses. The €5,000 daily penalty will then apply.
Delphine Boël has been trying since 2013 to convince Albert and his three children – King Philippe, Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid – to submit to DNA tests to prove she is a member of the royal family. Her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, and Jacques Boël – who was married to the Baroness when Delphine was born – have confirmed that Albert is Delphine’s biological father.
Should it be proven that Delphine is the biological daughter of Albert, she would be entitled to part of his inheritance. She would not be given the title of princess because the birth would have happened out of wedlock. According to Baroness Sybille, she and Albert had an affair that lasted 16 years. Albert was married to Paola at the time.
Boël's lawyer, Marc Uyttendael, said: "The king challenged the first court decision - but now the appeals court has confirmed it. I can't imagine that a former head of state will not respect the rule of law."
The results of an eventual DNA test will be kept secret, pending the outcome of another appeal lodged by Albert with Belgium's supreme court. His lawyer Alain Berenboom said: "The king could accept the test. He was not opposed in principle, but just considered it premature."