The Belgian Royal Palace revealed a welcomed surprise announcement on Thursday – King Philippe of the Belgians had met his half-sister, Princess Delphine (formally known as Delphine Boël) for the first time.
The newly discovered siblings had a three-hour meeting to get to know one another and released a joint statement and photo about their time together. Philippe and Delphine said: “On Friday the 9th of October, we met for the first time in the Palace of Laeken. It was a warm meeting. This extensive and special meeting gave us the opportunity to get to know each other. We discussed our own lives and our shared interest. This bond will develop into a familial bond in due time.“
What a wonderful change of pace this was from the attitude of his father over the past few years during the paternity suit! King Albert II left his daughter out to dry and abandoned her. He refused to acknowledge her, that is until he was forced to pay a daily fine for not doing so. It wasn’t until his paternity was confirmed that he confessed that Delphine was his biological daughter and that she would inherit from him like his other children.
After his paternity was confirmed, Albert’s attorney said the King decided to end the legal battle and “accepts Delphine Boël becomes his fourth child.” Not a very loving confirmation!
Where Philippe and Delphine’s statement was warm and full of the promise of future family relations, Albert’s was of defiance. Instead of talking about forging a relationship with his daughter, Albert admits paternity and “accepts” her as his fourth child.
King Philippe knows that Princess Delphine could not help the fact that she was conceived or born. She can’t change her DNA. He and his siblings were robbed of a younger sister their entire lives. It was a lovely step to reach out to Delphine and begin to form a relationship with the sibling he never knew. This move shows how much he is not like his father. He wants a bond with his new sister and hopes to grow it alongside his family. How lucky the Belgians are that he is now their monarch!
King Philippe’s brother, Prince Laurent, said later that day to Niewsblad: “Delphine needs to know she can count on me. But she undoubtedly knows that. We have known each other for a long time.” This proving that Laurent has had contact with his half-sister for quite a while – quite unlike his father, as well. He also knows it’s not Delphine’s fault and appears to be making an effort to welcome her.
It’s clear that King Albert could learn a few things from his predecessor and both sons.