The former king of Belgium, Albert II, has acknowledged that he fathered a daughter in an affair in the 1960s, marking the end of a paternity suit that he has contested for seven years.
Belgian artist and sculptor Delphine Boel launched a lawsuit in 2013 to see the king, now aged 85, recognized as her father. Boel claims the king had an affair with her mother, Sibylle de Selys Longchamps, resulting in her birth in 1968.
In May last year, Albert II submitted a DNA sample for paternity testing under the orders of a Belgian court.
Those test results confirmed that he was Boel’s father, Albert II’s lawyers acknowledged in a statement released Monday to Belgian media.
“Legally, he will end the legal battle there and accept that Delphine Boel is his fourth child,” said the statement, according to public broadcaster RTBF.It added that although the legal procedure was “debatable,” Albert II wished “to put an end with dignity and honor to this painful procedure.
“The statement also argued that “legal paternity is not necessarily a reflection of biological paternity,” pointing out that Albert II had not been involved in Boel’s upraising and that he’d respected her relationship with her “legal father.”
The statement accused Boel of choosing to “end her legal and socio-emotional bond with her father and to change family” by pursuing the paternity suit.
Alain Berenboom, the former king’s lawyer, told CNN affiliate VTM News that Albert II would now include Boel in his will along with his other children.”The king will treat all his children as equal,” Berenboom said, according to VTM News. “King Albert now has four children.”