A New Princess Meets With Her Father

Former King Albert of Belgium denied paternity for years
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2020 12:41 PM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2020 12:47 PM CDT
Belgium Princess, Father Try to Turn the Page
Delphine Boel, right, now Belgium's Delphine de Saxe-Cobourg Gotha, meets with her biological father Albert II, center, and Queen Paola Sunday in Brussels.   (Belgium Royal Palace via AP)

After years of courtroom battles, the relationship between Delphine Boel and the former king who long denied being her father has moved to the palace. Belgium's Albert II and the woman now recognized as Princess Delphine sat down together Sunday, the Guardian reports. The royal palace announced the reunion Tuesday and released a photo of the two with Queen Paola, the former king's wife, at Belvedere Palace. "Together, we decided to take this new path," a joint statement said. "It will require patience and effort, but we are determined." The newly minted princess, 52, was born of the king's 18-year affair with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, who was married to a wealthy industrialist.

Delphine, who's an artist, also saw the current monarch, King Phillipe, at the palace, which described the meeting between the half-siblings as warm. The two had met for the first time on Oct. 15, per Reuters; the royal family had not had any communication with her until then. Albert had denied paternity until court-ordered DNA tests settled the issue. His daughter has now changed her surname to her father's family name, Saxe-Cobourg. The official statement seemed to recognize the complicated family tensions while sounding hopeful. "Each of us, with empathy and in serenity, was able to express their feelings and experiences," the statement said. "A new chapter had opened, rich in emotions, peace of mind, understanding and hope." (More King Albert stories.)

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