Belgium ex-king's love child wins royal titles

BY BBC.COM - Oct 01, 2020 at 7:21pm 100

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The love child of former Belgian King Albert II has won a court battle to grant her the same rights and titles as her father's children by his marriage.

Under the ruling, artist Delphine Boël, 52, will be granted the title of Princess of Belgium.

King Albert admitted he was her father in January this year, having fought her paternity claim for more than a decade.

Her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, claims she had an 18-year affair with Albert before he was king.

Rumours first emerged that he had fathered a child with another woman after it was disclosed in an unauthorised biography about Albert's wife, Queen Paola, published in 1999.

Ms Boël first alleged on the record that King Albert was her biological father during a 2005 interview, but it was not until he abdicated in 2013 - when he lost his immunity to prosecution - that she opened court proceedings.

An appeals court in Brussel has ruled that she and her two children can now bear the surname of her father, Saxe-Cobourg.

As a result, after King Albert's death she will be entitled to receive an inheritance, along with his three other children - Prince Laurent, Princess Astrid and Philippe, the current king.

But despite her new title, Ms Boël will not receive any royal endowment.