Court Makes King's Love Child a Princess

Belgium's ex-king denied paternity for years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2020 8:48 AM CDT
Court Makes King's Love Child a Princess
In this April 9, 2008 file photo, Delphine Boel, poses for photographers with her book "Cutting the Umbilical Cord" in Brussels.   (AP Photo/ Thierry Charlier, File)

After a long legal battle, Belgian artist Delphine Boel is now Delphine of Saxen-Coburg-Gotha, princess of Belgium. The Brussels Court of Appeal has ruled that the 52-year-old is entitled to be recognized as a princess and to use the surname of her father, former king Albert II, the Guardian reports. The king, who abdicated in 2013, long denied paternity but agreed to submit a saliva test after a court ordered a daily fine of more than $5,000 for every day he refused to do so. It proved he was her father, Boel's mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, had said she had an 18-year affair with Albert prior to his becoming king, reports the BBC.

Boel's lawyer said she was "delighted" with the court's decision, the BBC reports. "A judicial victory will never replace a father's love, but it does offer a sense of justice," Marc Uyttendaele told reporters. "Many more children who have gone through similar ordeals may be able to find the strength to face them." Under the ruling, Boel will receive an inheritance after Albert's death along with his three other children: King Philippe, Prince Laurent, and Princess Astrid. Boel's daughter and son will now be recognized as a princess and a prince, and Albert has been ordered to pay $4 million to cover her legal fees. (More Belgium stories.)

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