Princess at last | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 03, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:31 AM, October 03, 2020

Princess at last

Belgian king’s hidden daughter wins fight to be a royal

A Belgian artist has won a seven-year legal battle to be confirmed as a princess and the official daughter of former king Albert II, her lawyer said Thursday. 

Delphine Boel, 52, becomes Delphine Saxe-Cobourg after a Brussels appeal court endorsed the results of a DNA test, lawyer Marc Uyttendaele told AFP.

"The court affirms that King Albert II is her father," the lawyer said, a claim confirmed by a judicial source.

"She will henceforth bear the patronym of Saxe-Cobourg. Her other requests that she be treated on the same footing as her brothers and sister were also granted," he said.

Albert II, King of the Belgians, reigned between 1993 and 2013 before abdicating in favour of his legitimate son Philippe, the country's current monarch.

Boel, a sculptor, had been reported to be Albert's illegitimate daughter since the 1990s -- or as she once put it his "dirty laundry" -- but it was only last year that a court obliged the former king to submit a DNA sample.

"She is delighted with this court decision, which puts an end to a lengthy procedure that was particularly painful for her and her family," the lawyer said.

"A judicial victory will never replace a father's love, but it does offer a sense of justice, which is further strengthened by the fact that many more children who have gone through similar ordeals may be able to find the strength to face them."

The judicial source told AFP that her children will now become known as prince and princess of Belgium.

Albert, now 86, acknowledged in January that he was Boel's father after a DNA test came back positive. But the court case continued, as she sought recognition as "Her Royal Highness Delphine de Saxe-Cobourg".   

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