Share article:
Share article:

Court overturns King Albert appeal in paternity case

The allegation that Delphine (pictured) was Albert’s daughter was first made public in 1999. Credit: Belga.

The Court of Cassation in Brussels has rejected an appeal by the former King Albert II against a ruling obliging him to provide a DNA sample in a case attempting to show he is the father of an illegitimate daughter now aged 51 years.

As we reported earlier today, the woman in question, artist Delphine Boël, claims Albert – then a prince while his brother Baudouin was king, had a long-standing affair from 1966 to 1984 with her mother, the socialite Sybille De Selys Longchamps, from which she was born. She was recognised by her mother’s husband, the industrialist Jacques Boël, but later found out what she alleges to be her true origin, and began a crusade to have her true father recognise her. In the meantime, Jacques Boël has given a DNA sample confirming he is not Delphine’s biological father.

The allegation that Delphine (pictured) was Albert’s daughter was first made public in 1999 by the young Flemish journalist Marco Danneels, then aged 18, in his book on Queen Paola, wife of Albert.

Today’s court ruling, which cannot be appealed, does not extend to a decision on the paternity of Ms Boël. The matter of the case concerns a DNA sample which both parties were ordered to provide by the Court of Appeal. Delphine complied, and Albert, now aged 85, resisted until ordered to give the sample by another ruling from the court, on condition that the sample and its analysis would remain sealed until Cassation could give a final ruling.

That has now come down: the sample from the former king may be opened and the results of the analysis revealed to Boël. If it proves his paternity, she will have won what she started out to get – the recognition that she is, in fact, his biological daughter – even if the recognition came about by force of law.

If the result is negative, however, the case ends there, and years of struggle – through the courts since 2013 – will have been for nothing. Appeals rejected, the case now goes back to the Court of Appeal, which will order the sealed sample to be opened and the results revealed. A date for that hearing has yet to be fixed.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Beglium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...