Delphine Boël is to appeal the court’s decision to declare her case inadmissible. She has been fighting to be recognised as the daughter of King Albert II of Belgium. Her mother gave a rare public statement in which she said she was saddened by the court’s decision.
For now, her legal father remains Jacques Boël, despite the fact that DNA-testing has proved that he is not her biological father.
“A biological bond alone does not suffice to prove a father-daughter relationship. There are other components, like the integration into a family,” the judge argued. Jacques Boël has always acted like Delphine’s father, she carries his name, and she grew up in the Boël family.
This decision from the court blocks Delphine’s next step in the procedure; DNA-testing on King Albert II to prove that he is her biological father.
Delphine 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. Delphine Boël has always claimed that it was not about any inheritance, as her legitimate father is much richer than the King.
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.