Belgium’s King Philip has met for the first time with his secret half-sister Dolphin de Saxe-Coburg, the palace announced on Thursday after winning a court battle for admission to the royal family.
The meeting, held at the royal palace on October 9th, led to a “long and rich exchange” that will allow relations to develop within a “family framework”, the statement said.
Former King Albert II, Philip’s father, who ruled from 1993 to 2013, was forced to undergo a DNA test in 2019 after a long battle with the woman, who for years insisted she was his daughter.
The test confirmed that he was indeed her biological father, which he refused to admit after the discovery in 1
A Belgian court ruled on October 1 that the 52-year-old artist could indeed accept her father’s name and call herself a princess.
The current king has publicly welcomed Dolphin into the family, unlike his father so far.
The “warm” meeting between Dolphin and the king took place at the official residence of the monk’s palace in Laeken, the royal family said.
“We had the chance to get to know each other during a long and rich exchange, which allowed us to talk about our respective lives and areas of common interest,” said a statement from the palace, signed simply by Philip and Dolphin.
“From now on, this relationship will develop within the family,” the statement added.
– Daughter of a long relationship –
Dolphin was born in 1968 to Baroness Sybil de Celis Lonschamp and the future King Albert at the beginning of an affair that lasted until 1984.
Albert had already married his future queen Paola, and the illegitimate daughter was kept secret.
Despite rumors and press reports, Albert continued to deny paternity throughout his two decades and after his abdication, until in 2019 the court ordered a DNA test.
The result was finally released in January, and the saga could be over – but the former king, now 86, continued to show his daughter a cold shoulder.
In a statement, Albert’s lawyers said that “scientific findings show that he is the biological father of Mrs. Dolphin Boel.”
But they added that his legal paternity was not the same as being a father, noting that he had not made “family, social or educational decisions” in Boel’s upbringing.
When the former king informed his hidden daughter and the Belgian people through a legal adviser that he did not feel a connection with her, it was “like a knife in the back,” she told reporters on October 5th.
The hidden princess said she was in a relationship with her father until he severely severed ties when she was 33 years old.
His contemptuous rejection of stubborn recognition was a step too far, and she decided to insist on legal recognition as royal.
crazy / lc / tgb