Delphine Boël paternity: King Albert ordered to provide DNA- sample

The Brussels appeal court has handed down a landmark ruling in the case that the artist Delphine Boël brought against King Albert of the Belgians.  Ms Boël is seeking clarity with regard to her paternity and has been hoping the king would provide a DNA sample to prove that he is her natural father.

So far King Albert II (pictured above with Queen Paola) has been unwilling to go this far, but the Brussels appeal court has now ordered the king to undergo a DNA test within the next three months.

For five years now Delphine Boël (pictured below) has been yearning to obtain true clarity with regard to the identity of her natural father.  The London-based artist has taken the matter to the Belgian courts.  A court in Brussels last year ruled that Jacques Boël, who adopted Delphine, is her legal father, though DNA evidence reveals that he is not her biological father.   Jacques and Delphine do not have a biological bond, but the court ruled that he had always acted as her father and that she grew up in his family and carries his name. As a result of this ruling there was no need to investigate whether King Albert was Delphine's natural father. Delphine Boël, however, appealed against this ruling and the appeal court judge has now ruled in her favour saying that Jacques Boël isn't her natural or her legal father.

Delphine Boël claims that King Albert is her natural father and that her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, for many years had an affair with the old king. Sybille de Selys Longchamps was married to Jacques Boël at the time of her birth.  

King Albert's lawyers can now take the matter to the court of cassation, if they wish to argue procedural errors and avoid the DNA test. King Albert can also refuse the DNA test, but that could open the way for the court conclude a presumption of paternity from this refusal.

King Albert's lawyers are now examining the ruling before they decide whether or not to take the matter to the court of cassation.  Success there could do away with the need for King Albert to provide a DNA sample.

BELGA