Artist Delphine Boel
One of my guilty pleasures in life is not an obsessive but a casual interest in royalty. So I could say that this blog is simply for fun. The artist looks like a “fun” person to me but it is about a lot more than fun. It is about how men so often plant their seeds wherever they wish to and don’t take any responsibility for it.
I’ll never know entirely what transpired between my dad’s parents. His father was a married man and unless he was simply hiding the truth that he fathered a son, he never knew about it. I give him the benefit of the doubt regarding that because my grandmother was a very self-sufficient woman and it is likely she just handled her pregnancy very quietly, turning to the Salvation Army’s home for unwed mothers in San Diego (actually Ocean Beach) California.
And I won’t judge King Albert II of Belgium either. Maybe he knew and hid it and maybe he didn’t but he does know now. DNA has been a miracle at revealing familial identities for children conceived out of wedlock and adoptees alike.
Delphine’s mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, said she and Albert II had been involved in an 18-year-long affair before he was crowned king. The Belgian aristocrat also claimed the royal had been a presence during Ms Boël’s childhood. Speculation surrounding an illegitimate child of King Albert II sparked in 1999 after the publication of an unauthorized biography of the monarch’s wife, Queen Paola. This sensational claim prompted a royal scandal and growing gossip surrounding the court.
Ms Boël first publicly spoke out and claimed she was the love child of King Albert II in 2005. She could not open court proceedings until 2013, after he abdicated in favor of his firstborn, King Philippe, and lost his immunity to prosecution. Despite the launch of the legal case against him, the former king initially resisted court orders to undergo DNA testing. He only caved in when told he faced fines of £4,500 (€5,000) for every day he would push back the test.
After he “learnt the results of the DNA tests”, Albert II acknowledged Ms Boël as his fourth child. King Albert’s lawyer issued a statement on January 27 reading: “Scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father of Mrs Delphine Boel. King Albert has decided to put an end to this painful procedure in good conscience.”
The love child’s lawyer described this royal admission as a “relief”. He continued: “Her life has been a long nightmare because of this quest for identity. She wants to have exactly the same privileges, titles and capacities as her brothers and her sister.” Reports suggest a victory of Ms Boël in court could see her children become eligible for a royal title – much like the other grandchildren of King Albert II in the line of succession to the throne. But the former monarch’s lawyer says the court has no power to hand out titles and only a royal decree would make Ms Boël a princess.