Belgian King Albert II Admits He Fathered an Illegitimate Child

The king has finally fessed up after a seven-year legal battle

King Albert
The Belgian King Albert II and his wife Queen Paola.
William Van Hecke/Corbis via Getty Images

While the rest of the world was preoccupied with Harry and Meghan drama, the royals over in Belgium were getting ready to spill some tea of their own.

After a seven-year legal battle, Belgium’s King Albert II has finally admitted to having fathered a middle-aged woman who first came forward with the revelation back in 2013. Following a court-ordered DNA test, the king copped to biologically fathering the woman, Delphine Boël, out of wedlock in a statement Monday.

While the king admitted the DNA test proved his paternity, the statement, as Vanity Fair noted, retained a distinctly argumentative tone. “Even though there are arguments and legal objections to justify that legal paternity does not necessarily mean biological paternity, and that the procedure used seems to him disputable, King Albert has decided not to use those arguments and to end with honor and dignity this painful procedure,” the statement read.

The king reportedly met Boël’s mother in Greece during the 1960s, while married to his wife, Queen Paola. Although Boël’s mother once told a Belgian TV station that Albert “was not the father figure,” the king was in contact with his daughter throughout the earlier part of her life.

When Albert assumed the throne after his elder brother’s unexpected death in 1993, however, he reportedly cut ties with his daughter in an attempt to avoid scandal.

Clearly, that didn’t pan out as hoped. Boël came forward publicly in 2013, shocking the Belgian public. While the king denied Boël’s claims for years, a court-ordered DNA test under a penalty of 5,000 euros per day finally did him in. According to People, Boël will not receive the full royal dressings of a title or a place in the line of succession, but she could stand to inherit a portion of the king’s fortune.

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