Belgian artist asks court to rule on whether former king is her father

Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:43am EDT
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By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Belgian artist who says she is the daughter of Belgium's former king asked a court on Tuesday to establish the identity of her biological father, a ruling that could put her fifteenth in line to the throne.

Delphine Boel, 46, has fought for more than a decade to gain the royal family's acceptance and end what she says is prejudice against her because of the question over her paternity.

Boel's lawyer, Alain De Jonge, told Belgian newspaper De Morgen that Boel was not motivated by money, saying that financially she would be better off as a Boel, a Belgian industrial family worth about $1 billion.

"If the royal family got in a plane together and had an accident or, as in Nepal, were killed by a mad man, then she could be queen. But her ambitions do not stretch that far. It is more about the ending of a stigma," De Jonge said.

"She is hoping no longer to be branded as the likely illegitimate daughter, but wishes to be recognized as a child."

Boel and her lawyer arrived at a civil court in Brussels on Tuesday morning without commenting. An attorney for the former king said little, beyond that he was optimistic. The hearing was conducted behind closed doors, as is usual in family law suits.

De Jonge has said that the court would initially examine whether her legal father, Jacques Boel, is a biological parent and that a recently conducted paternity test showed he was not.

Media have reported that Boel has disinherited his daughter because of the shame the scandal had brought to his family.   Continued...

Belgian artist Delphine Boel, who says she is the illegitimate daughter of Belgian King Albert II, presents her book "Cutting the Cord" in Brussels, in which she recounts her life and show examples of her art, April 9, 2008. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir