BELGIUM: Royal love child scandal takes ex-king Albert II to court

The love child of the former Belgian King Albert II, Delphine Boël, 52, has taken her case to the appeals court in Brussels. hoping a court will grant her the same rights and titles as her father’s legitimate children.

Her lawyer, Marc Uyttendaele, said on Thursday that Boel was seeking the same rights as Albert’s three other children, Philippe, now King of Belgium, Prince Laurent and Princess Astrid.

“Delphine’s position isn’t that she wants or doesn’t want to be princess,” said Uyttendaele.

“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.”

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.

However, King Albert finally admitted he was Ms Boël’s father in January this year, having fought her paternity claim for more than a decade.

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

Rumours of an illegitimate child first emerged in 1999 in an unauthorised biography about Albert’s wife Queen Paola, prompting a royal scandal and enduring media gossip in Belgium.

Reports suggest her children would also be eligible for a royal title if the court rules in her favour.

Albert’s lawyer says “she can only be given the title “princess” by royal decree, not by a court.”

BBC NEWS

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