Belgium: Ex-King Albert II admits he’s father of Delphine Boel
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For the first time, Princess Delphine will mark Belgium’s National Day alongside the country’s Royal Family, the Belgian Royal Palace has announced. On July 21, Delphine will attend the military and civilian parade, joined by her half-brother King Philippe and other key Belgian royals.
The future Queen of the country, Crown Princess Elisabeth, will also take part in the day of celebrations by participating in the parade.
Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, is completing a course in social and military sciences at the Royal Military Academy in Belgium.
The National Day celebrates the anniversary of the investiture of the first monarch of Belgium, King Leopold I, in 1831.
By inviting Princess Delphine, the Belgian Royal Family is signalling once again its intention to further integrate her into the royal fold following a long legal battle to be recognised as the daughter of former King Albert II.
Princess Delphine’s attendance at the National Day celebrations could be pivotal in cementing her relationship with the Belgian Royal Family.
However, this isn’t the first event she attends alongside other royals.
In February, Delphine and her husband Jim O’Hare joined the royals in their annual homage to deceased family members in the Royal Crypt in Laeken.
Princess Delphine was born during King Albert II’s 18-year-long extramarital affair with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps.
Princess Delphine battle for her identity started in 2013, when she launched a legal case against King Albert.
Princess Delphine first publicly declared she was the illegitimate daughter of King Albert in 2005, but had to wait until he abdicated in favour of his son and lost his immunity from court proceedings to launch a legal battle.
In January 2020, Albert officially recognised Delphine, a leading artist, as his fourth daughter after a Belgian court demanded him to take a DNA test.
Seven months later, Princess Delphine announced she was taking her father to court once again in order to gain the same rights and titles her half-siblings have been enjoying since birth.
This move, she explained, was prompted by a desire to feel fully recognised as the king’s daughter.
Once again, the Belgian court ruled in her favour and granted Delphine the full title of HRH Princess Delphine of Saxe-Coburg as well as the possibility to pass on to her two children the royal privilege.
Explaining the real reason behind her second court battle, Delphine said: “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.”
A few weeks after the second ruling of the court, King Philippe met for the first time Princess Delphine.
The pair held a “warm meeting” at the Palace of Laeken in mid-October 2020 and had the chance to get to know one another.
A joint statement issued by the siblings ended promising a commitment to deepen their relationship.
It read: “We discussed our own lives and our shared interest.
“This bond will develop into a familial bond in due time. Philippe & Delphine”.
Only a few days later, Princess Delphine also had an audience with her father and his wife Queen Paola.
The statement issued after the historic meeting spoke of a “new chapter” started between father and daughter.
It read: “After the turmoil, the wounds and the suffering, comes the time for forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.
“This is the path, patient and at times difficult, that we have decided to take resolutely together.
“These first steps open the way and it is now up to us to pursue peacefully.”
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