BRUSSELS (AFP) - A Belgian artist has won her long legal battle to be confirmed as a princess and the official daughter of former king Albert II, her lawyer said on Thursday (Oct 1).
Delphine Boel, 52, becomes Delphine Saxe-Cobourg after the Brussels appeal court endorsed the results of a DNA test, lawyer Marc Uyttendaele told AFP.
"The court affirms that King Albert II is her father," the lawyer said, a claim confirmed by a judicial source.
"She will henceforth bear the patronym of Saxe-Cobourg. Her other requests that she be treated on the same footing as her brothers and sister were also granted," he said.
Albert II, King of the Belgians, reigned between 1993 and 2013 before abdicating in favour of his legitimate son Philippe, the country's current monarch.
Boel, a sculptor, had been reported to be Albert's illegitimate daughter since 1997, but it was only last year that a court obliged him to submit a DNA sample.
"She is delighted with this court decision, which puts an end to a lengthy procedure that was particularly painful for her and her family," the lawyer said.
"A judicial victory will never replace a father's love, but it does offer a sense of justice, which is further strengthened by the fact that many more children who have gone through similar ordeals may be able to find the strength to face them."