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King Albert’s ‘illegitimate daughter’ demands DNA test
Belgian contemporary artist Delphine Boël has gone to court to win official recognition as the lovechild of King Albert II, it was reported yesterday. Boël, 45, has filed a suit requiring King Albert, his heir Prince Philippe and daughter Princess Astrid to appear in a Brussels court, palace spokesman Bruno Nève de Mévergnies told AFP. Another son, Laurent, was not mentioned in the suit. National broadcaster RTBF said Boël was hoping to get the court to order a DNA test so as to establish her relationship with the king. A court hearing has been set for June 25, according to the Belga news agency. Boël carries the name of her legal father, Jacques Boël, who comes from a wealthy industrial family. Her mother is Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps who, according to a 1999 book, had an affair with Albert in the 1960s before he became king. After the book came out, King Albert appeared to acknowledge the facts when he remarked that his marriage had gone through "a crisis" some 30 years earlier. The king went no further, however, and has since made no mention again of the crisis nor of Boël. Albert, 79, was known to enjoy the high life in his youth. In 1958, he married a noted beauty of the day, Italian aristocrat Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria. After a scandal over its finances, the government agreed earlier this month that the royal family would now have to pay taxes on its state allowances for the first time since Belgium declared independence in 1830.