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.
Andy Hardy’s Dilemma was a 1940 short from the Community Chest (precursor to the United Way) in which Andy and his father explore the idea of charitable giving.
In the film, the narrator specifically discussed a Salvation Army Home for Women, stating that the hospital:
“. . . is happy to indulge any mother who wishes to be known by her first name only and once baby and mother are both healthy, the organization will find the mother a job where she can keep her infant nearby with the belief that with her own child growing up beside her, a girl isn’t going to make the same mistake again . . . A fundamental principle here is that, after the baby is born and started in life, and after the mother is well and normal, every effort is made to find work so she can keep her baby. You see, this magnificent principle of tolerance and understanding is based on her own child growing up beside her. She is unlikely to make the same mistake again . . . and oh, I didn’t say anything about the babies’ fathers, did I? And no, I’m not going to.”
The plot is that Andy wants to buy a new car. So he goes into the judge’s home office where his father is about to write a $200 check to charity. Andy drives four cars with his dad as the passenger. They make four stops, one with each of the cars – the last stop is at a “woman’s home”.
Mickey Rooney made a whole series of Andy Hardy romantic movies, some with Judy Garland.
I was attracted to this quote because my dad was born in a Salvation Army home for unwed mothers called Door of Hope in Ocean Beach California in 1935. My grandmother left there some weeks later with her son. She then applied for employment with the Salvation Army and was transferred to El Paso Texas, where eventually my dad was adopted by my Granny primarily (she went through one husband and then ended up with my Granddaddy).
A persistent and determined woman, my Granny never abandoned her adopted sons, even during her most difficult times as a single mother between marriages.
A topic not always discussed in adoption issue considerations is the lack of support from potential grandparents when a woman finds herself pregnant. They are often key to why an adoption is taking place.
Regardless of the age of the mother, the grandparents often play a huge role in a decision to surrender the child. My own mother, an adoptee herself, encouraged my sister to surrender her daughter.
Where is the family that could have stepped in ? Who else is giving up this child ? In reality, every one related to a child given up for adoption has lost an opportunity to have a relationship with that child. I lost the opportunity to have relationships with all 4 of my original grandparents and many aunts and uncles.
“I don’t want this child – get rid of it !!”, could be what my maternal grandmother’s own father said to her as he sent my married grandmother far away to have my mom. I doubt he intended for my grandmother to bring her back to Memphis Tennessee.
My paternal grandmother left the Door of Hope, a Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers in Ocean Beach California to go to her cousin’s home for support. Obviously, that support was not forthcoming because my grandmother went back to the Salvation Army seeking employment, was accepted and transferred to El Paso Texas – which is how my dad ended up there and could be adopted. Being in El Paso was crucial to his meeting my mom and to my conception and birth.
In my family’s case, both of my original grandmothers had lost her own mothers at young ages. The lack of a nurturing, supportive older female probably played a huge role in their losing their first born children. It appears that they didn’t have support from their fathers either.