Former Belgian king Albert II meets his daughter for the first time since becoming royal

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Albert’s lawyers admitted in January that the 52-year-old Belgian artist, then known as Delphine Boël, was his daughter, seven in a legal battle over her paternity.

“On Sunday October 25, a new chapter began, filled with emotion, appeasement, understanding and also hope,” they said in a joint statement also signed by Albert’s wife, the Queen. Paola.

“Our meeting took place at the Château du Belvédère, a meeting during which each of us was able to express our feelings and experiences serenely and with empathy,” the statement read.

Albert initially challenged Delphine’s claim that she was conceived during an affair between him and her mother, Sybille de Selys Longchamps, in 1968, but reversed her position following the results of a blood test. paternity ordered by the court.He initially failed to undergo a DNA paternity test when the Brussels Court of Appeal ordered him to do so in October 2018. The court then ordered that he faces a fine of € 5,000 ($ 5,600) each day until he does.

“After the turmoil, the suffering and the pain, it is time to forgive, to heal and to reconcile. Together, we have decided to take this new path. It will take patience and effort, but we are determined, ”the statement said.

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, he abdicated the throne in favor of his son Philip, invoking concerns about his age and health.

Speaking in January, Alain Berenboom, Albert’s lawyer, told CNN affiliate VTM News that the former monarch would “treat all his children as equals” and that Delphine would be included in his will.

Earlier this month, the current King of Belgium, Philippe, also met his half-sister for the first time, in what the monarchy called a “warm encounter”.

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