PERHAPS every Royal Family has a skeleton in its closet and the latest to be resolved is the paternity of Delphine Boël who has spent 20 years fighting to be recognised as the natural children of former Belgian King Albert II.
For 32 years he was friendly with the young woman who it was rumoured was his illegitimate child but apparently without any obvious reason, he decided to cut his ties and effectively had nothing more to do with her.
It was in 1999, following the publication of a biography of Albert’s wife, Queen Paola which revealed the possibility of the affair with a wealthy Belgian industrialists’ wife that Delphine started her campaign to try to get the king to confirm that she was his.
She says that she wasn’t interested in money or the trappings of the royal family but she did want her father to acknowledge her and her two children.
Even after his abdication in 2013 when he was succeeded by Philippe, he continued to contest the allegations but eventually in January of this year, he agreed to a DNA test and having received the results, it would appear that her case was proven.
A Belgian Court has now ruled that the 52-year-old sculptor should be recognised as a member of the Belgian Royal Family and she will now assume the title HRH Princess Delphine of Saxe-Coburg (from the family’s links back to Germany).
Except when working for charitable purposes, she has no intention of using her royal title but now hopes that there can be some reconciliation with her father who is unlikely to contest the court decision.
Daughter Josephine and son Oscar will also be considered part of the Royal Family and will in due course be granted titles of their own.