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Belgium's former King Albert finally meets daughter Princess Delphine: 'Time for forgiveness'

The artist has finally been recognised as a Princess of Belgium

Danielle Stacey

Delphine Boël, the love child of former Belgian King Albert II, has met her father for the first time since she was granted the title of Princess of Belgium following a court battle.

The 52-year-old artist met the former monarch, 86, and his wife Queen Paola, 83, during a socially distanced meeting at Belvédère Castle in Brussels.

A photo released by the Belgian royal palace shows Princess Delphine de Saxe-Cobourg sitting on a sage green sofa in front of a coffee table, while her father sits in a separate chair placed between his wife Paola and his daughter in one of the castle's ornate rooms.

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A statement released by the palace says: "This Sunday, October 25, a new chapter opened, imbued with emotions, appeasement, understanding and, also, hope.

"Our meeting took place at the Château du Belvédère, a meeting during which each of us was able to express, calmly and with empathy, our feelings and our experiences.

"After the turmoil, the hurt and the suffering, comes the time for forgiveness, healing and reconciliation. It is the path, patient and sometimes difficult, that we have decided to take resolutely together.

"These first steps open the way that it is now up to us to pursue peacefully."

The statement was signed by Delphine, Albert and Paola. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Belgian Royal Palace (@belgianroyalpalace) on

Delphine met her half-brother King Philippe

The trio's meeting comes after Delphine met her half-brother King Philippe, 60, for the first time earlier this month. She also has two other half-siblings Princess Astrid, 58, and Prince Laurent, 57, from her father's marriage to Paola.

Delphine was born from Albert's 18-year-long affair with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps. 

Rumours that he had fathered a child with another woman first emerged back in 1999, after claims were disclosed in an unauthorised biography about Albert's wife, Queen Paola.

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Delphine is now officially a Princess of Belgium

King Albert admitted that he is the father of an illegitimate daughter in January, but he had fought the paternity claim by Delphine for more than a decade.

Following his older brother’s death in 1993, Albert unexpectedly came to the throne. 

He remained monarch until July 2013, when he abdicated, citing ill health, and his son, King Philippe took the throne. 

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