King Philippe of the Belgians has met his half-sister, Princess Delphine, formerly known as Delphine Boël, for the first time, according to an announcement made by the Royal Palace.
The official announcement reads, “A joint message from His Majesty the King and Her Royal Highness Princess Delphine: 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. Philippe & Delphine”
Princess Delphine is the illegitimate daughter of King Albert II of Belgium, who abdicated in his son’s favour in 2013, and Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps. She was finally recognised as King Albert’s daughter after a long legal battle.
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.
Delphine received the title of Princess of Belgium and the style of Her Royal Highness, which also extends to her son and daughter. However, they will not be included in the line of succession. Her new official name will be Delphine of Saxe-Coburg (van Saksen-Coburg).