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King Albert has not appeared in court in the Delphine Boël case

King Albert of Belgium had been summoned to appear in court this morning in the case of his alleged illegitimate daughter, Delphine Boël. The former Belgian King did not appear in person and was represented by his lawyer.

Although plenty of press appeared at the trial, they were not allowed inside the courtroom. Delphine Boël did appear in person but did not speak to waiting media. All King Albert’s lawyer said was, “We are going to plead our case, we’ll see.” After the end of the day’s proceedings, neither party spoke to the press.

Delphine Boël is pursuing this case to be recognised as the King’s child. She is also trying to force a DNA-test. If the court finds in her favour and she is identified as his child, she is entitled to an inheritance. Delphine Boël has always claimed that it was not about the money, as her legitimate father is much richer than the King.

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.

The trial is expected to last several years.

  • Susan Cooper

    So if she wins her case exactly what will it get her? Will her name be changed to Princess Delphine? Can she visit the king and queen and represent the royal family like the others do? Will she take a photo on the Christmas cards and more importantly will the king acknowledge her and announce to his country that she is his child. I feel for her but to put her life on blast and just keeps getting ignored seems kind of counter intuitive. Just the fact that some court rule she is his kid doesn’t bring her one step to any kind of relationship with him.

    • Rena

      It doesn’t bring her closer to him as in a father daughter relationship, but it brings her right as his daughter to light. His blocking a dna test is a such a negative on him. I guess I would fight harder against someone who denies but doesn’t prove I’m not his daughter. This could have been done quietly but his former majesty chose unwisely.

      • Susan Cooper

        But I’m still not understanding what rights. I read in the Royalty magazine the King has signed over all his assets to his wife except for several thousand to protect the inheritance for the legal kids and wife. Also he and the Queen now mainly live in Italy and on his death Delphine will not be acknowledged or can attend his funeral. So tell me again hiw this is helping her attain any kind of closure. On a side note a Belgian attorney was on a cable show here in America and the host asked him about this case. He said Belgians can’t be compelled to give DNA by law but the deciding judge can use the refusal to help render a verdict. This part is important. He said the ruling would say something like this: The refusal is taken as a sign that the party is probably the biological parent. Note the word probably, not certainty. And since she is illegitimate (hate that word!) she will not be able to inherit anything. She is too accomplished to try and force this since no one in the family is coming to her defense

  • tulip

    Royal title should not preclude sorting out this case which is expected to last several years. The court is probably hoping the king will die and not have to acknowledge parental responsibility. So unfair for the child who is being deprived of knowing the true biological parents, rights, inheritance and name. The king is a coward if he is indeed the biological father. Shameful behavior on the king and the court.

  • Jan M Keus

    Very interesting indeed that only two of Albert’s children were asked to produce DNA-proofs. Why not Laurant? Is this because one is not certain of his origin either?
    Is he Paola’s son and some unknown father? Do understand that he was born in that same “crisis” period Albert mentioned.

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