Delphine of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, newly-recognised princess, has the “feeling of having the right to exist” following her recognition as the daughter of King Albert II, she told La Première and Le Soir on Monday.
The princess said she was happy to have won her case in court, after seven years of proceedings, proving that she made the right decision when she decided to turn to the law to have her recognised as the king’s daughter.
“Justice told me that I was right, that I had the right to be recognised. This is a great relief because the judicial system said I was right and that I had the right to exist,” she said.
Since her official recognition, the new princess has received no signals from her father or her siblings, King Philippe, Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid, and she has had no contact with her father since 2001.
“I no longer expect anything,” she said, while regretting that the story could not be settled within the family. “I have been trying to solve the problem behind the walls, in secret, for years,” she insisted. But “I was a black sheep, it was unpleasant and unbearable,” hence the legal proceedings to finally get official recognition.
Regarding a possible pardon for her father, Delphine said she needs “to heal a little, I need time.”
She also felt that the revelation of the case in 1999, when Philippe was more concretely taking shape as his father’s successor, had been exploited by opponents of the Belgian monarchy.
“When Philippe and Mathilde announced that they were going to get married, those who were against the royal family came looking for me,” she said, pointing out that her existence was not really a secret, even if nobody talked about it.
She is also fighting her legal battle for other children born out of wedlock and awaiting recognition. “My fight is that you don’t point the child out. The child didn’t ask to be born, it is not different,” insisted Delphine of Saxe-Coburg Gotha.
“It’s sad that this case existed, children born out of wedlock happen all the time and it’s terrible that it was stigmatised because it happened in an environment that doesn’t accept it,” added Marc Uyttendaele, lawyer for the new Belgian princess, questioned on La Première.
“I still receive e-mails of unheard-of violence calling her a bastard and that is unacceptable,” he deplored.
The lawyer also specified that there was no question of a possible royal endowment for his client, as she does not take on the role of representing Belgium and does not intend to stop working.
The princess explained that she had asked to be granted the title of Royal Highness in order to be “as close as possible to equality” with her brothers and sister.
The Brussels Times