After a lengthy legal procedure filed by Delphine Boël, King Albert II of Belgium has recognised her as his natural daughter. Although there isn’t any royal title in it for Delphine, she has been fighting to be recognised as his daughter for many years. She also wasn’t after the King’s money, as her (formally) legal father Jacques Boël is presumed to be much richer than the King.
King Albert’s statement reads:
“His Majesty King Albert II has learned of the results of the DNA-test which he took part in at the request of the Court of Appeals of Brussels. The scientific conclusions state that he is the biological father of Mrs Delphine Boel. Even if there are legal arguments and objections to justify the fact that legal paternity is not necessarily a reflection of biological paternity and that he questions the procedure that was followed, King Albert has decided to concede and end this painful procedure in all honour and conscience. King Albert wishes to point out that he has not been involved in any familial, social or educational decision since the birth of Mrs Delphine Boel and that he has always respected the link that existed between Mrs Delphine Boel and her legal father. Over forty years later, Mrs Delphine Boel decided to end her legal and social-emotional bond with her father and to change her family. And with a long, painful procedure full of legal contradictions at that. This procedure has not respected the privacy of the parties. With respect for the legal institutions, King Albert has refrained from interfering in debates outside of the courtroom. That is why he has decided to respond and to explain his position in this matter.”
Delphine’s mother Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps had a relationship with the future King of the Belgians for many years before all contact was broken off. Sybille’s husband Jacques Boël recognised Delphine as his own child.
With the recognition now in place, King Philippe of the Belgians, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent, officially have a half-sister. Delphine and her partner James O’Hare have a son and a daughter together.