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DNA test proves former Belgian king fathered illegitimate child 52 years ago

After a lengthy seven-year battle, the former King of Belgium has finally acknowledged that Delphine Boël is his biological daughter.

The former King Albert II, who abdicated the throne in 2013, has been adamant against Boël's claims over the years. However, the results of a paternity test released on Monday have proved that the 85-year-old royal is her father. 

The monarch is said to have had an affair with Boël's mother, Sibylle de Selys Longchamps, in Greece in the 1960s. Because the two were not married to each other, the 52-year-old Boël is considered illegitimate and will not receive a title nor a place in line to the throne. 

Lawyers for the former king released a statement to the Belgian media acknowledging the paternity test and calling the extensive lawsuit a "painful procedure."

"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," Albert's lawyer, Alain Berenboom, said.

"Legally, he will end the legal battle there and accept that Delphine Boël is his fourth child," it said. 

Boël first came forward with the claims in 2005. In 2018, five years after she began legal action, a Brussels court ordered the royal to submit to a paternity test, which he initially rejected. He was fined every day he refused to submit to the test. 

According to reports, Albert knew about Boël's birth but cut all ties with the family when he became king in 1993. 

The royal has been married to Paola Ruffo di Calabria since 1959. They share three children, including the current King of Belgium, King Philippe.