King Albert II of Belgium recently met with his daughter Delphine Boël months after acknowledging that he is the artist’s biological father. On Tuesday, Oct. 27, the Belgian Royal Palace released a photo of the father-daughter meeting, which also included the former monarch’s wife Queen Paola, at Belvédère Castle in Brussels. Along with the photo, a joint statement read: “On Sunday, October 25, a new chapter, rich in emotions, peace of mind, understanding and hope, began. During our meeting at Belvédère Castle, each of us was able to express our feelings and experiences in serenity and empathy.”
“After the turmoil, suffering, and injury, it is time for forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation. Together we decided to take this new path. This will take patience and effort, but we are determined,” the statement continued. “These are the first steps on a path that we will walk in peace. Delphine, Paola and Albert.”
Delphine’s meeting with her father comes weeks after she met with her half-brother King Philippe. The siblings met for the first time on Oct. 9 at the Palace of Laeken. Following the “warm encounter,” the King and newly minted Princess Delphine said in a statement: “This long and rich discussion gave us the opportunity to learn to know each other. We talked about our respective lives and areas of shared interest. This bond will further develop within the family setting.”
Delphine, born in 1968, is the illegitimate daughter of King Albert and Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, whom the 86-year-old royal had an affair with. The former King, who abdicated in favor of his son Philippe in 2013, had denied that Delphine was his daughter for years. Following a seven-year long legal battle and court-ordered DNA test, the former King finally admitted in January that he had fathered a love child. Albert shares three children—King Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent—with his wife Paola, whom he married in 1959.
Earlier this month, Delphine won her legal battle for a royal title. Under the ruling, she was granted the title of Princess of Belgium. “She is delighted with this court decision which puts an end to a long procedure which is particularly painful for her and her family,” Delphine’s lawyer Marc Uyttendaele said in a statement after the decision. “A legal victory will never replace the love of a father but offers a sense of justice.”