Delphine Boël, the supposed daughter of King Albert II of Belgium, is going to court tomorrow to demand a sample of the former King’s DNA. She has been fighting to be recognised as his daughter. Her case had been declared inadmissible, but she has appealed this decision. Considering the age of the King, she wishes to preserve the DNA for when her appeal overturns the original decision if it does.
Her legal father is the 89-year-old Jacques Boël, but a DNA-test has already proved that he is not 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 ruled that the right to know who your biological parent is, is more important than the age limit.
The former King of the Belgians was part of a great deal of Delphine’s childhood but has wanted nothing to do with her for the past 20 years.