Royal News

Royal love-child given title by court finally meets royal half-brother in ‘warm meeting’

Princess Delphine of Saxe-Coburg’s heartbreak following a seven-year-long court case in which she fought to be recognised by her father, the former king of Belgium Albert II, and be equal to her siblings, appears to be coming to an end. This month, the artist, formerly known as Delphine Boel before the Brussels Court of Appeal gave her the right to style herself as royal, met her half-brother King Philippe for the first time. 

According to a statement issued by Belgium’s Royal Palace, the pair had “a warm meeting”.

The palace said: “A joint message from His Majesty the King and Her Royal Highness Princess Delphine: On Friday the 9th of October, we met for the first time in the Palace of Laeken.

“It was a warm meeting. This extensive and special meeting gave us the opportunity to get to know each other.

“We discussed our own lives and our shared interest. 

“This bond will develop into a familial bond in due time. Philippe & Delphine”

The palace also shared a picture of the two siblings smiling next to each other.

Princess Delphine launched her first court case to be recognised by King Albert II in 2013, when he lost his immunity from court proceedings after abdicating in favour of his firstborn.

The former monarch initially failed to recognise Delphine as his daughter, born during a reportedly 18-year-long relationship with baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps. 

King Albert II also refused to carry out a DNA test until January 2020, when the court warned he would face a fine of £4,500 (€5,000) for every day he pushed back the test.

After “learning the results of the DNA tests”, Albert II formally acknowledged Delphine as his fourth child.

King Albert’s lawyer issued a statement on January 27 reading: “Scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father of Mrs Delphine Boel.

“King Albert has decided to put an end to this painful procedure in good conscience.”   

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Nine months later, Princess Delphine launched a new case against her father in a bid to receive the same titles and privileges of her half-siblings.

As explained by her lawyer Marc Uyttendaele at the time, Delphine didn’t want to become a princess for the sake of it, but simply didn’t want to be treated differently than the other children of King Albert II.

He said: “Delphine’s position isn’t that she wants or doesn’t want to be princess.

“She doesn’t want to be a cut-price child, she wants to have exactly the same privileges, titles and capacities as her brothers and her sister.” 

The court backed her request once again, granting Delphine the Her Royal Highness style as well as the title of Princess – and the right to pass it on to her two teenage children.

Princess Delphine, who first publicly spoke about her royal father in 2005, said during an emotional interview in early October the court’s rulings gave her “peace of mind”.

She said: “The court has agreed with me, the justice system has clearly established that I have the right to be recognised.

“That gives me peace of mind, because it means that I was right and that I have a right to exist.”

Up to that moment, the princess hadn’t heard from the palace and hadn’t been in touch with the former king since 2001. 

Asked whether she was hoping to hear from the Belgian palace, Delphine said: “If you ask me whether I am expecting anything from the Royal Family, I am not expecting anything.

“I am just going to carry on with my work.

“However, if suddenly they show a sign of life, I would never show my back to them. That’s for sure.”

Explaining the real reason behind her court battle, Delphine added: “It is not [the child’s] fault, they do not ask to be born.

“The child who comes from a love affair outside of marriage should not be treated any differently.”    


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