King Albert II of Belgium is summoned to appear in court next year in the Delphine Boël case. This has been confirmed by Delphine Boël’s lawyer, Alain De Jonge. This is a new phase in the Delphine Boël case. Both she, the King and her legal father Jacques Boël are being called to appear before the courts in Brussels on 21 February 2017.
The judge in the case has summoned all persons to be present in person, which is not unusual for cases in family law. When being summoned for such a hearing, you can call upon a “legitimate excuse” to not be present in person, however, the judge can then decide it is not possible to continue with the case.
Delphine Boël has been on a mission to be recognised 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 recognised 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.
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 than the age limit and so Delphine can now continue in her quest for recognition.