Nothing is what it seems or in the end everything happens as history has shown. In this case the story of a royal father and a daughter born out of wedlock who has fought for years in court until it has been recognized that her father is King Emeritus Albert of Belgium, married to Queen Paola, and, until the law said otherwise, father of only three children with: Felipe (the current monarch of the country), Astrid and Lorenzo.
In January 2020 a DNA test proved the affiliation of Delphine Böel as the daughter of the man who had occupied the Belgian throne for two decades until he abdicated his son Felipe in 2013. In October this long soap opera seemed to have put its end when the A 52-year-old sculptor, who had been struggling since 2013 to be legally recognized as the daughter of Albert II, officially became a princess of Belgium. His surname passed to be Saxe de Coburg and Gotha, that of the Belgian royal family dynasty, and the years of his father’s refusal to take DNA tests were another stain on his history. He had “put an end to this painful process with honor and dignity,” as he himself stated through his lawyers.
From that moment on, gestures for the cameras followed each other to try to dignify the situation and bring some elegance to the denialist position that the royal family, especially Albert II, had had on this thorny issue. The new princess, the new daughter, the new sister, as her lawyers said, was happy about this “just decision” but did not miss the opportunity to clarify that “a judicial victory never replaces the love of a father, although it offers a certain feeling of Justice”.
His new family had no choice but to stage acceptance. In October this year, King Felipe of Belgium, his new brother as had been dictated by law, received Delphine Böel in a meeting that a statement described as “warm”. “We had the opportunity to meet you during a long and emotional exchange that has allowed us to talk about our respective lives and focus on the common interest,” continued the letter from the Belgian royal house. Only a week later it was Alberto from Belgium and his wife Paola who were meeting with the recognized daughter of the monarch emeritus. It happened in the castle of Belvédére and, how could it be otherwise, photographs of the meeting were distributed, with the three participants sporting polite smiles.
But one thing is the forms and another is the substance, and although in a certain way the emeritus monarchs and the current king have shown their acceptance of the situation, they do not seem to think the same about not doing something to protect their property. As published Paris Match, in 2015 Alberto II and his wife Paola changed their marriage contract and opted for a separation of property with a “limited division of property”. And be it because of the new recognized daughter of the monarch or because of other interests beyond her, the fact is that on May 26 they changed it to a pure separation of assets. What, for practical purposes, everything that was included in their common property has been withdrawn by mutual agreement from it and they are now totally independent, from a financial point of view, from each other.
Since Belgian law does not establish in what proportion a couple’s assets must be separated, some media see in this movement a possibility to ensure that it remains for the most part for one of them and that it is somehow protected in the face of the couple’s children: Felipe, Astrid and Lorenzo. However, the decision can change a lot for Delphine Böel if this action has materialized in that most of the assets of that common heritage have remained in the hands of Paola of Belgium, since her husband’s new daughter would not have the right to inherit them. Among the assets they previously had in common are a farm in the south of France, apartments in Ostend, Rome and Paris, and the pleasure yacht Alpa.
The decision, which has now become known, may be motivated by the advanced age of the emeritus monarch but it does not stop raising suspicions about the consequences it has for his new legal daughter, since it causes the reduction of the legitimate part of his estate. The new princess could file, if she deems it appropriate, a lawsuit after the death of her father if she considers herself injured, but she herself has been very clear throughout her legitimation process as a daughter. For years he has always stated that his struggle had nothing to do with money, but with an emotional issue. His mother, Sybille de Selys Longchamps, belongs to one of the Belgian families and Delphine herself, when she insisted on proving the paternity of Albert II, had been recognized as the daughter of the one who had been her mother’s husband and who was his heiress, Jacques Boël, who has a fortune estimated to be much greater than that of King Albert himself.
Delphine’s determination to fight to prove that she was really the daughter of the King Emeritus caused Boël to disinherit her, so it does not seem that money is the main driver of this artist who, on the other hand, makes a good living selling her works .
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.