Monday, July 1, 2013

Op-Ed: Delphine Boël vs The Belgian Royal Family.

The Background of the situation:

Years ago, King Albert & Queen Paola were separated for a while, but remained married. During this time, King Albert had an affair with Sybille, Baroness de Selys Longchamps, which allegedly produced the famed Belgian artist, Delphine Michèle Anne Marie Ghislaine Boël in February 1968.

While Boël and her mother remained in hiding for the majority of her life and she was raised as the legal daughter of Jacques Boël, it was first brought to the public’s attention in 1999, when an unauthorized biography of Queen Paola was published{Source}{Source}. The book contained statements of allegations that there was an existence of a daughter born out of wedlock to King Albert. When the Belgian press got a hold of this idea, the investigations on who she could be and rumors started. Eventually the Belgian press found Boël, and both the Palace and Boël denied the claims at the time. The main element that was considered to be an informal acknowledgement of her existence was during his 1999 Christmas speech, in which he said:
This Christmas feast is also the occasion for each of us to think of one’s own family, to one’s happy periods but also to one’s difficult moments. The Queen and I have remembered very happy periods, but also the crisis that our couple have experienced more than 30 years ago. Together, we could very, long time ago already, surpass those difficulties and find back a deep understanding and love. This period have been recalled to us short ago. We don’t wish to dwell ("nous appesantir" in French) on that subject which belongs to our private lives. But, if certain people who meet today similar problems could get some reasons to hope from our lived experience, we would be so happy.

In May 2005, Boël was interviewed by France 3, where she publicly claimed to be the King’s daughter. after this, she phoned the man she claimed was her biological father, to get some help for her mother who was being harassed by journalists. The king shrugged her off, claiming that he was not her father. Raised as the legal daughter of her mother’s second husband, She was told the truth about her paternal lineage by her mother when she turned 18 in 1986.

For years after this, she kept quiet. In January 2013, it was reported that her mother’s second husband and her legal father disinherited her from his family’s estimated €760m (£650m) fortune. It was then that she, with her mother’s support, made the decision to summon her alleged biological father and two half-siblings to submit to a DNA test{Source}. The Palace has confirmed that a summons was received by The King, Duke of Brabant & Archduchess of Austria-Este (Albert II, Philippe & Astrid). The road block for Boël is that per the Belgian constitution, the King has legal immunity, but his children do not get this privilege.

Update: however, with the recent upcoming abdication of King Albert II in favor of Prince Philippe, this leaves Philippe out of it due to legal immunity, leaving it for Astrid and their father part of it.


Pretty much that King Albert, Prince Phillippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent have a daughter and half-sister they never acknowledged. She nor her descendants can inherit the throne as they are considered illegitimate descendants of Leopold I, even if King Albert & Queen Paola divorce over this (a scenario in which I doubt), and he marries his illegitimate daughter's mother, she will still not be in line for the throne.

However, per the rules of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), she will inherit some of her father’s fortune at his death. As is a similar case with the children of Prince Albert II of Monaco.

My opinion:

Bottom line: Because her legal father disinherited her, she’s after the King’s money. At least that’s what I’m getting out of it. If she really wanted acknowledgement out of him,  she would've gone after it years ago, when she found out the truth from her mother in 1986.

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