Artist Delphine Boël, aged 52, has appealed to the court in Brussels to grant her the same rights as the legitimate children of the former Belgian King Albert II, seven months after the latter admitted that Ms. Boël is his daughter.
According to her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, Albert had an 18-year long affair with her before he became a king. It was in 1999 that rumours emerged about an illegitimate child in a biography concerning Albert’s wife Queen Paola.
However, it was in 2005 that Ms. Boël first went on record to state that she was the biological daughter of King Albert. She only began court proceedings in 2013, when he was abdicated and lost his immunity to prosecution.
According to her lawyer, she is hoping for the same rights that are bestowed upon Albert’s three legitimate children.
“Delphine’s position isn’t that she wants or doesn’t want to be princess,” said Marc 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.”
If the court rules in her favour, Albert’s three children will also become eligible for a royal title, according to reports.
However, the lawyer of Albert argued that the title can only be bestowed by royal decree and not through a court.
Interestingly, Baroness Longchamps stated that the affair occurred between the years of 1966 and 1984.
After the death of his older brother in 1993, Albert took over the throne.
He was in power until July 2013, when his son Phillip replaced him, as the former cited health issues for abdication.
Albert refused to undergo DNA testing, as directed by the court until the authorities announced that he would be fined €5,000 (£4,370; £6,000) a day if he continued to not take the test.
It was in January that he admitted to being the father of Ms. Boël after he “learnt the results of the DNA tests”.
According to Mr Uyttendaele, it was “relief” for Ms. Boël. “Her life has been a long nightmare because of this quest for identity.”