Delphine Boël has been on a mission to be recognized as the daughter of King Albert II of Belgium. She was born in 1968 as the daughter of Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps and was officially recognized by her mother’s husband Jonkheer Jacques Boël (of which the English equivalent would be Esquire).
The King made a reference to a crisis ‘thirty years ago’ in the 1999 Christmas speech but has otherwise remained silent on the subject. The press has tracked down and the statement in the Christmas speech has been interpreted as the affair between the King and Delphine’s mother.
Delphine confirmed that she is the King’s daughter in an interview in 2005 to France 3. She had telephoned King Albert to ask for help for her mother’s dealings with the press. According to her she was told that she needed to leave him alone and that she was not his daughter. She claims that King Albert and her mother had actually kept in touch when she was born but that this contact stopped before her 16th birthday. She was told of her parentage when she turned 18.
In 2013 Delphine summoned King Albert and two of his children, the Duke of Brabant, now King Philippe and Princess Astrid of Belgium, the Archduchess of Austria-Este to court in hopes of obtaining DNA for testing purposes. The King enjoyed immunity at the time but his abdication in July 2013 opened the way for a new procedure.
She ran into some trouble when she wished to revoke the paternity of Jacques Boël as this had to be done before you turn 22 or within a year of learning that your parent is not actually your parent. Belgium’s constitutional court has now ruled that the right to know who your biological parent is, is more important that the age limit and so Delphine can now continue in her quest for recognition.
Photocredit: Delphine Boel by Baudouin via Flickr.com