Tuesday, 28 January 2020
Following a seven-year court battle, a court-ordered DNA test has handed victory to noblewoman and artist Delphine Boël, putting an end to a lengthy legal fight to prove she was the biological daughter of former Belgian King Albert II.
“His Majesty King Albert II has taken note of the results of the DNA sample he submitted at the requests of the Brussels Court of Appeal. The scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father or Mrs Delphine Boël,” King Albert’s lawyer said in a statement.
King Albert’s lawyer said that, following the results, his client had chosen to “put an end to this painful procedure,” with “dignity and honour” by not challenging them again in a court of law, VRT reports.
Now aged 51, Boël first summoned the former king to court in 2013 with the objective of proving their familial bond, with the king, now 85, abdicating one month later.
With the king’s abdication leading to his loss of legal immunity, Boël relaunched proceedings against him but the court dismissed her claim as unfounded in 2017.
Boël appealed and in 2018 got the court to order King Albert to undergo DNA tests to settle the affair, in a ruling which would have interpreted the king’s refusal to undergo the tests as an admission of paternity.
The former head of state appealed the ruling at the start of 2019 but saw the court slap him with a penalty of €5,000 for each day he refused to undergo the tests.
Boël was born out of King Albert’s extramarital affair in the 1960s with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, whose husband was part of a noble family of industrials.
The ruling means Boël, now assimilated to King Albert’s other children, can lay claim on parts of the former monarch’s estate but will not be able to integrate the line of succession.
“She will, normally, benefit from his heritage, but the victory she was seeking was, above all, a moral one,” VUB law professor and royal family expert Mark van den Wijngaert told the Belga news agency, adding that King Albert could disinherit her “if he so wishes.”
The Brussels Times