Former Belgian King Albert II has admitted he is the father of a woman born from an affair, after he was forced to give a DNA paternity test which came back positive.
After refusing for 6 months, the King finally agreed to take a DNA paternity test after a judge threatened to fine him almost $5600 a day until he undertook the test.
In a statement, the ex-king’s lawyers said he had “learnt the results of the DNA test… [and] the scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father of Mrs Delphine Boël”. The 85-year-old now accepts Delphine Boël as his fourth child.
This result brings to a dramatic conclusion, a lawsuit that had been underway for over 6 years. The plaintiff, Delphine Boël, is now an heiress to the king’s fortune, which is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. She could also be eligible for an aristocratic title and, potentially, a place in the line of succession to the throne.
Ms Boël’s lawyer, Marc Uyttendaele, described the admission from the former king as a relief. He told German news channel RTL television that her life had been a long nightmare because of this quest for identity.
“She had a biological father who brutally rejected her when this paternity [case] publicly emerged”, he said. Adding that she launched the legal fight “to avoid her children carrying this weight”.
The Belgian artist filed her lawsuit after King Albert ceded the throne to his eldest son, King Philippe. It is understood that Albert privately recognised her as his daughter until he unexpectedly became king. As a second son, Prince Albert was not expected to reign and enjoyed a life of partying and socialising with models, movie stars and fashion designers. However, Albert became king when his older brother, King Baudouin, died suddenly of heart failure in 1993, aged 63.
Ms Boël is believed to be the child of an extramarital affair with the Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps. At the time, prince Albert was married to Italian princess Paola Ruffo di Calabria, with whom he had three children.
Historians say this is the first case of the courts being used to air the private affairs of the Belgian royal family.
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