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Former Belgian king undergoes paternity test

May 28, 2019

Albert II has provided a DNA sample. Following allegations of an extramarital affair, he has denied being the father of Delphine Boel.

Belgian King Albert II
Image: Imago Images/Belga/H. Vergult

The former king of Belgium, Albert II, on Tuesday submitted a DNA sample for a test to finally resolve the riddle as to whether he is the father of sculptor Delphine Boel.

The sovereign bowed to pressure in order to avoid daily fines of €5,000 ($5,600), according to his lawyers.

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"After having taken note of the judgment handed down on May 16 by the Brussels Court of Appeal, HM King Albert decided to submit to the expertise ordered by the Court of Appeal," his legal representatives said in a statement.

Boel launched proceedings in 2013 to have Albert's fatherhood recognized, but this allegation has always been denied by the former Monarch, who reigned for 20 years from 1993. Albert abdicated shortly after the accusation was made due to health reasons.

The artist, who was born in 1968, asserts she is the extramarital daughter of the then prince as a result of an affair with her mother, Sibylle de Selys Longchamps.

The one-time king has been married to Italian Paola Ruffo di Calabria since 1959, whom he met the previous year at a reception at the Belgian Embassy.

In October 2018, the Brussels Court of Appeal ordered Albert II to submit a genetic sample.

Until now, the 84-year-old had refused any such test, but he has subsequently relented in the face of the aforementioned financial penalties.

He provided a saliva sample for a comparative analysis with the DNA of Boel and her mother. However, the results will remain secret until the end of the legal process, which could take up to a year.

jsi/rt (AFP, dpa)

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