Love child of former King of Belgium writes to the government demanding to be treated like royalty
- Delphine, is the half-sister of the current King Philippe, 63, and his two siblings
- Read More: Royal fans rejoice as King Albert embraces his illegitimate daughter
The love child of the former King of Belgium has asked to be official consider a royal.
Delphine Boël, 55, who was legally named as King Albert II of Belgium’s daughter three years ago has penned a legal letter to the government asking her to be invited to government events.
The Princess is the half-sister of the current King Philippe, 63, and his two siblings, Princess Astrid, 61, and Prince Laurent, 60.
She is the result of an 18-year affair between the former monarch, 89, who abdicated in 2013, and Belgian aristocrat Sybille de Selys Longchamps, 81, that began in the 1960s.
Speaking after a court officially acknowledged her as the love child of Belgium’s former king in October 2020, Delphine said her battle to be recognised as a royal was not about money or status.
Her lawyer, Marc Uyttendaele, has now written to Alexander De Croo, the prime minister, demanding that she is invited to state occasions and treated with the same pomp as Astrid and Laurent.
Love child of Belgium’s King Albert II Princess Delphine, 55, says she wants to be treated like royalty, like her half siblings
Princess Astrid of Belgium ( Left), Prince Laurent of Belgium (2nd Left), Queen Paola of Belgium (2nd Right) and King Albert II of Belgium (Right)
‘My client has been worried for months about her role in official events,’ wrote the lawyer, noting she is only invited to a few ceremonies, such as Belgian national day and royal funerals.
He added: ‘But even there, she is treated differently from her brother and sister. It is simply a question of respect.’
The lawyer went onto state that she has no interest in a financial endowment, in a reference to her siblings annual allowances of more than €260,000.
However the prime minister argued that Delphine is a private citizen and the royal family have official duties at these functions.
He said: ‘The people who are invited to these events are people who have official functions in our country, part of the royal family has an official function. Princess Delphine does not have one.’
For decades, the former King distanced himself from Princess Delphine and her mother to preserve his marriage.
After Princess Delphine was born in 1968, the King initially remained in frequent contact with his child and her mother. But when Delphine reached her 16th birthday, the King began to distance himself.
Delphine, right, meets her biological father King Albert II, center, and Queen Paola, left, during an informal meeting in Brussel 2020
Now Delphine has the right to bear the royal name de Saxe-Cobourg and is formally recognised as a member of the Belgian royal family
In 2013, the same year King Albert abdicated the throne due to health reasons and was succeeded by his son King Philippe, Princess Delphine launched a legal bid to be officially recognised as Albert’s daughter – which she won in October 2020.
Now Delphine has the right to bear the royal name de Saxe-Cobourg and is formally recognised as a member of the Belgian royal family as are her two children Princess Joséphine of Belgium, 19, and Prince Oscar of Belgium, 14, who she shares with partner James O’Hare.
Speaking to Tatler last year, the princess, who is an artist, revealed her father’s rejection when she was young still hurts, but added she doesn’t blame him and holds no ill-will towards him.
She argued that royal life is ‘isolating’ and she believed her father had been badly advised at the time.
However, she said: ‘You don’t just have a child and kick it.’
Reflecting on her seven-year legal battle, Delphine said the action she brought was not about money or status but ‘principles’.
Now Delphine has attended royal engagements and says her relationship with her father has healed after years of bitterness.
King Philippe of Belgium (right) met his half-sister Princess Delphine de Saxe-Cobourg Gotha (left) for the first time in 2020 – after she was finally recognised as former king Albert II’s daughter following a lengthy legal battle
Delphine (left, with her mother, centre, in 2000) she first claimed to be Albert’s lovechild in 1999, after an unofficial biography of the Queen claimed he had an affair and a child born out of wedlock
When she launched her legal action in 2013, she told Belgian radio show Matin Premiere: ‘I feel like I have a right to exist. Not to exist in the royal family but as me.
‘My decision to call for help through the law, I feel today that it was the right thing to do… The judicial system said that I was right and that I had the right to exist.’
Since the legal action has been settled, Princess Delphine has slowly become integrated in the Belgian royal family.
She met her brother, King Philippe of Belgium who is one of 20 Belgian royals she is related to – in 2020, where they posted a socially distanced picture to Facebook, describing it as a ‘warm meeting.’ Her other royal half-siblings are Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent.
When she was granted her royal title Princess Delphine was also invited to Belvédère Castle in Brussels where she had an official meeting with her father and his wife Queen Paola.
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