Belgian ex-king backs secret daughter’s royal welcome

A DNA test in 2019 confirmed that Delphine de Saxe Cobourg is the daughter of Belgium's former king Albert II     Belga  AFP

A DNA test in 2019 confirmed that Delphine de Saxe Cobourg is the daughter of Belgium's former king Albert II Belga AFP

King Albert, 85, fought the paternity claim by 51-year-old artist Delphine for more than a decade. The former monarch reportedly had her during an affair 52 years ago.

"We talked about our respective lives and areas of shared interest". A royal gesture which honors you full of humanity and which I hope for your family and Delphine will protect you from media intrusion into your purely private sphere in the same way as for any other family.

The meeting, held at a royal palace on October 9, led to a "long and rich exchange" that will allow the relationship to develop within a "family framework", said the statement.

Ms Boël first publicly alleged that Albert was her biological father in a 2005 interview, but it was not until the king abdicated in 2013 that she opened court proceedings.

Her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, has stated that she had an affair with the royal between 1966 and 1984, when he was still Prince Albert of Liege. Yet, he continued to deny his daughter from that relationship, keeping her secret throughout his twenty years on the throne and after his abdication, until a Belgian court ordered the DNA test. Advertisement Delphine met Albert II's eldest son, King Philippe, at the family's official residence in Brussels last week.

"It was a warm encounter".

"This extensive and special conversation gave us the opportunity to get to know each other. This bond will further develop within the family setting".

It is unclear whether Delphine got to meet any other members of the family, including Albert II.

Even after the DNA test results were known in January of this year, Albert's lawyers said, "the scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father of Mrs Delphine Boel" adding that legal paternity does not equal being a true father. "I am just going to carry on with my work", Delphine said of her new title at a press conference last week.

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