King Albert recognizes illegitimate daughter after DNA test results

Former King admits he fathered a love child outside of his marriage

Queen Mathilde’s father-in-law had denied the paternity claim for years

King Philippe of Belgium’s father, former King Albert II, has a love child. The 85-year-old royal admitted that he fathered an illegitimate daughter after a DNA test proved that he is indeed artist Delphine Boël’s biological father following a seven-year long legal battle. Albert had denied the claim for years. “His Majesty King Albert II has taken note of the results of the DNA sample he submitted at the requests of the Brussels Court of Appeal. The scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father or Mrs Delphine Boël,” Albert’s lawyer said in a statement, according to The Brussels Times.

Former King Albert of Belgium fathered an illegitimate daughter, Delphine Boël©ERIC LALMAND / Belga / AFP
Former King Albert fathered an illegitimate daughter, Delphine Boël

After the DNA test results were revealed, the former monarch’s attorney said that his client had decided to put an end to this “painful procedure” with “dignity and honor.” Journalist Wim Dehandschutter reported that in a statement, Albert said he wanted to “stress that, since the birth of Delphine Boël, he was not involved in any family, social or educational decision" in her life.”

The former monarch is married to Queen Paola with whom he shares three children©Getty Images
The former monarch is married to Queen Paola with whom he shares three children

Queen Mathilde’s father-in-law was ordered last May to submit a DNA sample for the paternity case, or face a daily fine. Delphine first alleged that King Albert was her father in a 2005 interview. Her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, had claimed that she and the Belgian royal, who married his wife Queen Paola in 1959, had an affair between 1966 and 1984 while he was still the Prince Albert of Liege. Their daughter Delphine was born in 1968. Meanwhile, Albert and Paola share three children together—King Philippe, Princess Astrid, and Prince Laurent. Albert became King in 1993 after his older brother King Baudouin’s death, but abdicated in favor of his son Philippe in 2013.

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