The hidden daughter of ex-Belgian King Albert is now a princess
Since seven years, she fights to have her filiation and her rights recognized. Justice proved him right on Thursday: Delphine Boël, daughter long hidden from the former Belgians Albert II, was granted the title of princess and the name of Saxe-Cobourg.
The judgment rendered by the Brussels Court of Appeal “gives him full satisfaction”, reacted his lawyer Marc Uyttendaele by confirming a decision that fell four weeks before the date announced and revealed by the RTBF channel. During the final hearing of a long series with twists and turns, on September 10, Albert II’s lawyers contested that she could demand the title of princess.
Born of an affair between Sibylle de Sélys Longchamps and Prince Albert
A 52-year-old plastic artist, Delphine Boël was born out of the nearly twenty-year relationship that her mother, Sibylle de Sélys Longchamps had in the 1960s and 1970s, with Albert. The latter was then crown prince, married since 1959 with the future queen Paola.
The former sovereign – on the throne from 1993 to 2013 and father of the current king, Philippe – denied this filiation for years, until the justice forced him to a DNA test in 2019. The result of the test was finally made public on his initiative on January 27. “The scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father of Madame Delphine Boël”, then announced his lawyers Mes Alain Berenboom and Guy Hiernaux.
“She does not want to be a child at a discount”
From now on Delphine Boël “wants to have exactly the same prerogatives, titles and qualities as her two brothers (Philippe and Laurent) and her sister” (Astrid), explained in September Me Uyttendaele. “She does not want to be a child at a discount”, he had hammered.
Delphine Boël, who had renounced the surname of Jacques Boël, the husband of her mother, will henceforth be named “His Royal Highness Delphine of Saxe-Coburg ”, ruled Thursday the court of appeal. “The court affirms that King Albert II is her father and that she will henceforth bear the patronymic name of Saxe-Coburg”, commented Me Uyttendaele in a press release.
The content of the decision was confirmed at AFP by a legal source who specified that her children, adolescents, “will also be Prince and Princess of Belgium”.
Delphine Boël will speak on Monday
“This legal victory will not replace never the love of a father but offers a feeling of justice, further reinforced by the fact that many children who have gone through the same ordeals will find the strength to face them ”, added Me Uyttendaele.
The existence of the king’s hidden daughter was revealed in 1999 by a journalist. She is due to speak to the press with her lawyers next Monday.
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