Belgian claiming to be king's daughter passes DNA test hurdle
A Belgian sculptor got a boost Friday in efforts to prove she is the natural daughter of former king Albert II, after a paternity test ruled out her legal father, reports said Friday.
Delphine Boel has been at the centre of a long-running saga in her efforts to prove she is the child of ex-monarch Albert, and her first aim was to show that Jacques Boel, from a wealthy industrial family, was not her real father.
"Jacques Boel thought it was time for him too to know the truth," his lawyer Theodora Baum said in an RTBF television report. "Accordingly, he arranged a DNA test which showed that he is not Delphine's father."
The results will be submitted next week to the court where Delphine Boel launched proceedings last year in an effort to prove that Albert II is her real father.
Delphine Boel bears a distinct likeness to Albert II but he has consistently refused to acknowledge her as his daughter.
He enjoyed legal immunity when on the throne but after his abdication in July 2013, this lapsed, opening the way for Delphine Boel to begin proceedings in court.
Jacques Boel's lawyer Baum was quoted as saying that his client "no longer opposed Delphine Boel's" challenge to his paternity.
Her mother is Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps who, according to a 1999 book, had an affair with Albert in the 1960s before he became king.
After the book came out, Albert II appeared to acknowledge the facts when he remarked that his marriage had gone through "a crisis" some 30 years earlier.
The king went no further, however, and has made no comment since.
The monarchy holds a key position in Belgium, a country sharply divided between its French- and Flemish-speaking halves and it regularly features in gossip magazines, not always in the most favourable light.
Albert II stepped aside, citing ill health, and was succeeded by his son Philippe.
© 2014 AFP