Illegal Belgian princess ‘moved to tears’ by first meeting with ‘mocking’ King Albert II
The illegitimate daughter of King Albert II of Belgium claims he broke her down to tears when he accused the artist of pursuing her paternity claim because she “wanted attention.”
Princess Delphine, 53, said her now-acknowledged father was “nasty” when she spoke of their first meeting as part of a new television documentary.
Delphine was fully recognized as his child in October 2020, after years of legal battle.
During their first meeting in 2013, she claimed to the VTM station that he ‘sneaked’ her: ‘Ah, because it’s not going so well as an artist, you need some attention.’
She added: ‘At that point I thought, ‘how unbelievably rude is this?’
‘After the first conversation with Albert and his lawyers, I walked out of the office completely crushed and crying.
Princess Delphine, 53, said her now-acknowledged father was ‘nasty’ as she spoke of their first meeting as part of a new television documentary (Pictured: Delphine gets emotional during press conference after she was confirmed as King Albert II’s daughter in October 2020 )
“They said I ‘put a gun to the king’s head’ by going to court.”
Just a month after Delphine made her legal offer, Albert, 87, abdicated, which was handed over to his son Philippe.
It would be seven years before Albert lost the case and had to recognize the then Delphine Boel as his real daughter – before a second lawsuit awarded her the title of Princess Delphine of Saxe-Coburg.
Princess Delphine said: ‘The first time I visited him and his lawyers, he was very mean and made me cry.
“I never thought I would go to court. But I did it on a principle.
“After Albert said I wasn’t his daughter, I needed proof. I had to be sure.’
Delphine’s mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, now 80, had an affair with Albert in 1966 when he was the Crown Prince.
Albert married Queen Paola in 1959 and always downplayed rumors that he was Delphine’s father, calling his affair with her mother “a crisis.” the times.
Albert was in close contact with the Baroness and Delphine, born in 1968.
But when she turned 16 in 1984, the soon-to-be king – who took the throne in 1993 – abdicated from the couple in order to preserve his marriage.
Delphine only found out a year later, at age 17, that he was actually her father.
She told the documentary, “It was great when she told me.
Delphine’s mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps (left), now 80, had begun an affair with Albert in 1966, when he was the Crown Prince (Pictured: Baron Dieter von Malsen Ponickau with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps at the castle of Osterberg, Germany , 1998)
Left: Albert II before he became king. Right: Albert pictured with Queen Paola, his son Phillipe, born in 1960, and daughter Princess Astrid, born in 1962
Albert II (pictured left with Queen Paola of Belgium) had fought tooth and nail to keep Delphine from being his daughter since the rumors of paternity became public in 1998
“Not because of who he was, because I didn’t care if he was a prince.
‘But I was relieved. . . although I immediately understood that that would cause a scandal.’
Rumors of the paternity issue started circulating in 1997 and intensified in 2001. It was then that Albert broke off contact with Delphine.
She said, ‘I never felt close to him. I called him “Daddy” because I was instructed to call him that. But I’ve never felt that way.’
Delphine needed answers after being labeled a “high financial risk” by the banks – which prevented her from opening accounts for her children Josephine and Oscar, whom she shared with her partner and American businessman Jim O in 2003 and 2008 respectively. Hare gave birth.
She explains: ‘My life and that of my children had become unnecessarily difficult and at some point it became unbearable.
‘When I wanted to open a bank account for my children, it was a problem. I saw my son Oscar PEP being called a ‘politically exposed person’ who had been blacklisted.”
Her children have since officially become royalty – along with 20 other Belgian princes and princesses.
Delphine says she has healed her relationship with her father and recounts the moment she had an emotional meeting with Albert and Paola at their opulent home at Belvedere Castle in Laeken in October 2020.
Today I have a warm and mutually respectful relationship. But I keep my particular interaction with them private,” she said.
‘I get along well with the royal family and I like them. They’ve been hospitable.’
The meeting was described by the palace as a time of “forgiveness, healing and reconciliation” after the protracted legal battle.
A joint statement read: “On Sunday, October 25, a new chapter has begun, rich in emotion, peace of mind, understanding and hope.
Delphine says she has healed the relationship with her father and recounts the moment when she had an emotional meeting with Albert and Paola in their opulent house in the castle of Belvedere in Laeken in October 2020 (photo)
‘During our meeting at Belvédère Castle, each of us managed to express our feelings and experiences in serenity and empathy.
“After the tumult, suffering and wounds, it is now time for forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.
‘Together we have embarked on this new path. This will take patience and effort, but we are determined.
“These are the first steps on a path that we will walk in peace. Delphine, Paola and Albert.’
Earlier that month, the princess met her half-brother King Philippe for the first time.
The monarch called it a ‘warm meeting’ that took place on Friday 9 October 2020 in the Castle of Laeken.
In a joint statement shared with the Belgian royal family facebook page, Philippe, 60, and Delphine – who shared a photo of them socially – said: ‘This extended and special conversation gave us the opportunity to get to know each other.
King Philippe of Belgium (right) first met his half-sister Princess Delphine de Saxe-Cobourg Gotha (left) in October 2020 – after she was finally recognized as the daughter of former King Albert II after a protracted legal battle
In a joint statement, shared on the Facebook page of the Belgian Royal Family, Philippe and Delphine said: ‘This extensive and special conversation gave us the opportunity to get to know each other’
‘We talked about our own lives and our common interests. This bond will develop further in a family context.’
After a court officially recognized her as the love child of the former king of Belgium, Delphine said her struggle to be recognized as a royal was not about money or status.
She explained that her mother’s husband, the wealthy industrialist and aristocrat Jacques Boel, is “much richer than the royal family.”
Delphine also revealed that she will not be using the “Her Royal Highness” prefix, adding, “I just wanted to be like my brother and sister.”
She told the Belgian radio program Matin Premiere: ‘I have the feeling that I have a right to exist. Not to exist in the royal family, but as me.
“My decision to seek help through the law, I feel today it was the right choice to do… The judiciary said I was right and I had a right to exist.”