Delphine Boel, once secret daughter of the former Belgian king, wins the right to a royal title

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The 52-year-old sculptor Boël took legal action in 2013 to have the former king, now 86, recognized as his father. She claimed that the king had an affair with his mother, Sibylle de Selys Longchamps, resulting in his birth in 1968.

The king contested the claims for seven years and even failed to submit to a DNA paternity test when the Brussels appeals court ordered him to do so in October 2018. Last May, the court ruled that the The former king would face a daily fine of € 5,000 ($ 5,600) until he passed the test – which he eventually agreed to.

In January, he admitted that he was indeed Boël’s biological father.

Boël will now change his last name to that of his father “Saxe Cobourg”. Her children will also become princess and prince 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,” Boël’s lawyer Yves-Henri Leleu said in a statement to CNN. “A legal victory will never replace the love of a father but offers a sense of justice,” he added.

Albert II married Paola Ruffo di Calabria, later Queen Paola of Belgium, in 1959 and became king in 1993. In 2013, at the age of 79, Albert II abdicated the throne in favor of his son Philip, invoking concerns about his age and health.

Rumors of a child born out of an extramarital affair began to float just a few years after his ascension to the throne, fueled by claims published in a 1999 biography about Queen Paola.

The scandal and Boel’s name as an alleged child grabbed the headlines. She began to speak openly about the matter to the media in the following years, despite the King’s repeated denials of paternity.

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