The love child of former Belgian King Albert II has won a court battle to grant her the same rights and titles as her father’s children by his marriage.
Under the ruling, artist Delphine Boël, 52, will be granted the title of Princess of Belgium.
King Albert admitted he was her father in January this year, having fought her paternity claim for more than a decade.
Her mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, claims she had an 18-year affair with Albert before he was king.
Rumours first emerged that he had fathered a child with another woman after it was disclosed in an unauthorised biography about Albert’s wife, Queen Paola, published in 1999.
Ms Boël first alleged on the record that King Albert was her biological father during a 2005 interview, but it was not until he abdicated in 2013 – when he lost his immunity to prosecution – that she opened court proceedings.
An appeals court in Brussel has ruled that she and her two children can now bear the surname of her father, Saxe-Cobourg.
As a result, after King Albert’s death she will be entitled to receive an inheritance, along with his three other children – Prince Laurent, Princess Astrid and Philippe, the current king.
But despite her new title, Ms Boël will not receive any royal endowment.
Who is King Albert II?
- Born in 1934 as second in line to the throne
- Married Italian Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria in 1959
- The couple have two sons and a daughter
- Became king in August 1993 following the death of his older brother, King Baudouin
- With his constitutional role, stepped in during country’s 2010-2011 political stalemate
- Served as monarch for two decades until his 2013 abdication