Belgium’s ex-King Albert II submits DNA in paternity case

Belgium’s ex-King Albert II submits DNA in paternity case

Image copyright AFP Image caption Belgian artist Delphine Boël (L) alleges Albert II is her father Former Belgian King Albert II has submitted a DNA s

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This combination of pictures created on April 26, 2018 shows Belgian artist Delphine Boël (L) on April 26, 2018 arriving for a session at the Appeal Court in Brussels to request the appeal of the case contesting the paternity of her father Jacques Boel and asking for the recognition of the paternity of King Albert II and a file photo taken on July 3, 2013 of King Albert II of Belgium (R) delivering a speech at the royal palace in BrusselsImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

Belgian artist Delphine Boël (L) alleges Albert II is her father

Former Belgian King Albert II has submitted a DNA sample to avoid fines of €5,000 (£4,370) a day over claims he fathered a love-child in the 1960s.

The 84-year-old, who has been fighting the paternity claim of Belgian artist Delphine Boël, 51, for over a decade, provided a sample of saliva on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, a Belgian appeals court ruled the former monarch should be penalised for refusing the test.

The ex-king, who reigned from 1993 until 2013, denies the paternity claim.

“He noted that the court had decided that the conclusions of this examination would be strictly confidential until a new judicial decision,” his lawyer, Alain Berenboom, said in a statement.

A court verdict is not expected until the end of this year.

The former king was ordered by a Brussels court in February to provide a sample within three months or risk being presumed to be the father of Ms Boël.

What is the background of the case?

Rumours that the king had an illegitimate child first emerged in 1999 in an unauthorised biography about his wife. The allegation prompted a royal scandal and enduring media gossip in Belgium.

Ms Boël first alleged on the record that King Albert was her biological father during a 2005 interview.

Her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, has claimed the two had an affair between 1966 and 1984 when he was still Prince Albert of Liège.

However, following his older brother’s death in 1993 at 62, King Albert unexpectedly came to the throne.

He held the position until July 2013, when he announced his abdication – citing ill health – and was replaced by his son, Philippe. He is said to receive an annual income of about €1m.

Shortly after, Ms Boël opened court proceedings to prove her paternity, provoking speculation the scandal had influenced the move.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Princess Paola of Belgium (later Queen Paola) and Prince Albert of Belgium with their children in 1969

Earlier this year, he refused to fulfil a 2018 court order to undergo DNA testing and launched an appeal.

A court had initially set a three-month limit for him to provide a saliva sample for testing – saying that without it, Ms Boël would be assumed to be his daughter and be eligible for any inheritance.

Belgium has a constitutional monarchy in which the king plays a largely ceremonial role.

Who is King Albert II?

  • Born in 1934 as second in line to the throne
  • Married Italian Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria in 1959
  • The couple have two sons and a daughter
  • Became king in August 1993 following the death of his older brother, King Baudouin
  • With his constitutional role, stepped in during country’s 2010-2011 political stalemate
  • Served as monarch for two decades until his 2013 abdication
  • Lost his immunity held as king after abdication

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