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The court request that has surprised Belgium’s royals

Delphine Boel
Luc Van Braekel/CC/Flickr

The daughter born outside marriage to King Albert II of Belgium has asked a court to make her royal. Delphine Boel, who Albert acknowledged as his illegitimate daughter after a lengthy legal case, says she wants to be the same as his other children, titles included.

The comments came as the final hearing in her court battle with Albert took place. Her lawyer, speaking after the case, revealed Delphine had asked for the same ”privileges and titles” as her ”brothers and sister”. Albert’s eldest child is King Philippe of the Belgians while his other son and daughter with wife, Queen Paola, are Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid. Both are styled HRH.

It is understood Delphine has also asked for accommodation supported by the state.

Delphine Boel was born on February 22nd 1968 to Sybille de Selys Longchamps who, at the time, was married to Jacques Boel. Rumours that Delphine was actually Albert’s child began to circulate in 1999. In 2013, following the surprise abdication of Albert II that summer just weeks before the 20th anniversary of his accession, she asked her half siblings to provide DNA to prove her paternity. A legal battle then ensued which saw Albert confirm he was her father in early 2020.

Until the court case on September 10th 2020, Delphine Boel had always insisted she just wanted recognition as the child of Albert II. Her request to be given a royal title and the same privileges as the current King of the Belgians and his siblings has taken many people by surprise.

The court’s final decision will be known by October 29th 2020.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.