Former king concedes legal defeat, admits he has an illegitimate child

The former king of Belgium, King Albert II, has confirmed publicly that he is the father of an illegitimate daughter, born from an affair.

The 85-year-old had for a decade refuted claims by artist Delphine Boël, 51, alleging that the former monarch is her father.

However, in a statement released by his lawyer on Monday, Albert confirmed that, after viewing the results of a DNA test, he now concedes that Ms Boel is his child.

Speaking through his legal team, King Albert II said he had “learnt the results of the DNA test… [and] the scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father of Mrs Delphine Boël”. The lawyers added the royal had decided to halt the legal battle, which had dragged on since 2013, and he now “accepts Delphine Boël becomes his fourth child”.

Ms Boël first publicly alleged that King Albert was her biological father in a 2005 interview. Her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, has stated that she had an affair with the royal between 1966 and 1984, when he was still Prince Albert of Liege. Following his older brother’s death in 1993, Albert unexpectedly came to the throne. He remained monarch until July 2013, when he abdicated, citing ill health, and his son, King Phillipe took the throne. Shortly after Albert’s abdication, Ms Boël launched her legal proceedings.

Last year, King Albert refused to fulfil a 2018 court order to undergo DNA testing but lost his appeal. He eventually took the test in May 2019 after facing a 5,000 euro a day fine for refusing to submit his DNA.

Albert married his Italian wife Queen Paola in July 1959, and together they have three children; King Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent. They also share 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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