The Royal families are no stranger to affairs, love children, or scandal, but now for the first time, a court has decided that a love child who was spurned and denied, be finally dubbed a Princess! Her father, the former King may not want to see her but her brother, the current King of Belgium, has welcomed her with open arms.
King Albert II's Secret Love Child
Born February 22nd, 1968, Delphine Boël kept her family's major secret for years. She was the illegitimate child of King Albert II of Belgium and her mother Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps during their 18-year romance. It wasn't until 1999 when a savvy young journalist Mario Danneels, uncovered the secret of Delphine's existence while doing research for a biography on Belgium's Queen Paola, that the Belgian public first learned the truth.
Delphine still did not speak out until 2005 after being repeatedly spurned and mistreated by King Albert II. Growing up, she knew of King Albert II as only her mother's best friend who would spend a lot of time with her and her mother, often taking them on secluded vacations and boat rides to ensure privacy. Then when she was 17 her mother finally told her the truth but begged her to keep the secret, for the sake of the Belgian Monarchy. It was her mother who ultimately ended the affair with the married father of 3 royals slightly older than Delphine, for the sake of her country.
Albert maintained a relationship with Delphine, which she was perfectly happy with. She enjoyed her private life and even earned a degree in fine arts and became a well-respected artist. Once the secret was uncovered by Mario and the public, her father turned on her and shouted at her on the phone telling her he wanted nothing to do with her and never to speak to him again. Befuddled, Delphine continuously tried to reach her father to maintain a relationship and when he was repeatedly cruel towards her, she decided to go public.
In an interview in 2005, she admitted she was King Albert's daughter. In 2013 she summoned him to court to use DNA to prove she was in fact his daughter but because he was the King, he was immune to prosecution. Then in the same year when he abdicated the throne to his son, Philippe, citing health reasons, his immunity was no more and Delphine proceeded with her paternity filings.
Delphine Boël's Fight For Her Royal Title
For years Albert refused to take the DNA test, continuously denying Delphine was in fact his daughter until finally in 2019 the Brussels Court of Appeals ordered Albert to pay a fine of 5,000 Euros a day to Delphine for every day that he would not take the DNA test. He submitted his DNA and in January of 2020, the results showed that he was in fact the biological father of Delphine Boël. According to Hello!, Albert's lawyers released a statement saying, "the scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father of Mrs. Delphine Boël." Then on October 5th, 2020, she and her children were granted Royal titles by the Belgian Courts and according to BBC the former King was ordered to pay her almost €3.4 million legal fees.
This comes as a surprise to many familiar with Royal scandal. Countless Royals have been caught in affairs like Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles or with secret love-children like Prince Albert of Monaco who has two children fathered out of wedlock who do not possess Royal titles.
Delphine's daughter is now named Princess Joséphine of Belgium, her son is Prince Oscar of Belgium, and she is now Princess Delphine of Belgium. Her father still refuses a relationship with his daughter but his son, now King Philippe of Belgium is very kind to his half-sister and on the 9th of October the two finally met in person. BBC reported that the two had a "warm encounter" and King Philippe proudly said their "bond will further develop within the family setting."
Charming and strong-willed Delphine is a wonderful and modern addition to the very traditional Belgian Monarchy!