An actor who successfully fought a seven-year legal battle to prove that he was the son of former Belgian king, Albert II, won the right to be recognized as a princess.
The Brussels Court of Appeal has decided Delphine Boël, 52, is entitled to her father’s surname Royal after a bitter battle for recognition.
Boël will be called Delphine of Saxen-Coburg-Gotha, princess of Belgium, his lawyer told the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. Her two children, Joséphine and Oscar, will also be known as a prince and princess of Belgium.
In a statement, Boël̵7;s lawyers said their client was happy to treat him like Albert’s three other children, including current king Philippe.
They added: “He is pleased with the court’s decision ending a long process that is particularly painful for him and his family. Legal success can never replace a father’s love but offers a sense of justice , which is further strengthened by the fact that many children who go through the same difficulties will find the strength to face them. “
Albert, 86, who turned his back on 2013 in part because of legal battles over Boël’s father’s claims, was forced to admit that he was his son in January after a court ordered a DNA test. . Boël is the result of an extravagant marriage between Albert and Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps.
Boël spent time with Albert as a child, nicknamed him “Papillon” (Butterfly), but in vain he sought recognition for more than 20 years.
He launched a legal battle to prove his fatherhood in June 2013, after the elder of his two children, Joséphine, was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, and he felt the absence of his biological father.
Boël’s claim received a very good boost in the fall when the appellate court ruled that Jacques Boël, to whom he had grown up, was not his biological father and instructed an expert to conduct a trial to compare his DNA to Albert.
The king agreed to provide a sample of saliva – which proved to be his father – after the court threatened to fine him € 5,000 (£ 4,370) for each day he refused.
On the day Albert stepped down from the throne seven years ago, mentioning poor health, Boël’s mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, gave a TV interview in which she spoke to the public for the first time. opportunity about his relationship with the king.
“I thought I could not have children because I had an infection,” he said of the relationship, which is said to last from 1966 to 1984. “We are not careful.”
He continued: “It was a wonderful time. Delphine was a dear child. Albert was not the father but he was very sweet to her.”