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King Albert loses appeal in paternity case

Albert belgium
By Voka Kamer van Koophandel Limburg CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Former King Albert II of Belgium has lost his appeal against the order to undergo a DNA-test, the Court of Cassation, the main court of last resort in Belgium, decided today. The case will now return to the Court of Appeals which can decide that the DNA-test he underwent in May 2019 will be made public and can therefore also be matched to the samples given by his supposed daughter Delphine Boël.

He had been ordered to undergo a DNA-test in order to determine if he is the father of Delphine Boël. He took the test in May 2019 after facing a 5,000 euro a day penalty for refusing to take the DNA-test. However, the results have remained a secret until the verdict of the appeal was in.

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 legal 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, 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. 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. He has also refused to appear in court.