Former king of Belgium’s love child launches legal bid for rights and titles

Sep 12, 2020
Albert II (pictured) is said to have had an affair with the woman's mother between 1996 and 1984. Source: Getty.

The love child of Belgium’s former King Albert II has launched a legal bid via the courts to be granted the same rights and titles as the ex-monarch’s legitimate children.

Delphine Boel’s lawyer, Marc Uyttendaele, told the BBC that Boel is seeking the same rights as Albert’s three other children – Philippe, now King of Belgium, Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid.

“Delphine’s position isn’t that she wants or doesn’t want to be princess,” he said. “She doesn’t want to be a cut-price child, she wants to have exactly the same privileges, titles and capacities as her brothers and her sister.”

Boel’s mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, claims she had a lengthy affair with Albert before he ascended the throne. Rumours that the 86-year-old had an illegitimate child first began circulating in 1999, according to reports in the Belgian media, however Albert had vehemently denied the claims until now.

However Albert only admitted he was Delphine’s father in January of this year, after a court-ordered DNA test came back positive. The former king’s lawyers released a statement at the time which said Albert now “accepts Delphine Boel becomes his fourth child”, according to the BBC.

Albert II reigned over the European nation for 20 years before abdicating in July 2013 due to ill health, making way for his son King Philippe to ascend the throne.

One month before he announced he would be stepping down, Boel launched legal proceedings against the man she claimed to be her biological father, summoning Albert and his children Philippe and Astrid to appear in court.

In November 2018 a court ordered the former king to submit to DNA testing, however he refused and in May 2019 the Brussels Court of Appeals ruled that Albert should be made to pay €5,000 (AU$8,135) per day that he refuses to take the test.

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