Belgium’s ex-monarch agrees to DNA test in paternity case

International

FILE – In this May 22, 2016, file photo, former Belgian King Albert II arrives for a tribute ceremony at the Royal Palace in Brussels for the victims of the Brussels attacks. Belgium’s former monarch Albert II has agreed to a DNA test demanded by a woman who claims to be his love child. King Albert II, who abdicated in 2013 for health reasons, is facing a daily fine of 5,000 euros ($5,600) for failing to provide his DNA in the case brought by Delphine Boel. She reacted with relief Tuesday, May 28, 2019 saying that final proof would soon be in the hands of the judiciary. (Frederic Sierakowski/Pool Photo via AP, File)

BRUSSELS (AP) — A decades-old royal paternity scandal is setting Belgium abuzz again.

Lawyers said Tuesday that Belgium’s former King Albert II, 84, has finally agreed to a DNA test demanded by a woman who claims to be his daughter in what could be a decisive breakthrough in the long-running case.

By the evening, news of the former king’s acquiescence had already pushed Sunday’s Belgium election results with its extreme right gains into second place on the local news.

King Albert II, who abdicated in 2013 for health reasons, had been facing a daily fine of 5,000 euros ($5,600) for failing to provide his DNA in the case brought by 51-year-old Delphine Boel.

Boel has been trying to establish paternity for years and her story has often made headlines. Albert has never publicly denied being her father but so far had refused to provide DNA.

A statement from Albert’s lawyer, delivered to the Belgian media, said after the former monarch had taken note of the judgment two weeks ago, which imposed the daily fine, he would submit to the test “out of respect to the judicial authorities.” It was made clear the move did not imply any admission of guilt.

Boel’s lawyer, Yves-Henri Leleu, said she “reacted very positively, because with the DNA test, the biological evidence is now there.”

The lawyer for the former monarch said the DNA results would have to be sealed until later in the legal case.

Rumors about Albert and Boel’s mother, the aristocratic wife of a well-heeled industrialist, had been around for years. But the news the king may have had a child with her broke out into the open when a biography of Albert’s wife, Queen Paola, was published in 1999.

In his Christmas message to the nation that year, King Albert indirectly confessed to a past infidelity andsaid he and Queen Paola lived through a “crisis” in the late 1960s that almost wrecked their marriage but that “a long while ago” they overcame their marital problems.

Six years ago, Boel, who has a striking resemblance to some members of the royal family, opened court proceedings to prove that Albert is her father.

An artist and sculptor, Boel has always said that she brought the paternity case due to anger since she was being cold-shouldered by the royal family.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Overcast

Abbeville

42°F Overcast Feels like 42°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
93%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Areas of fog. Low 43F. Winds light and variable.
47°F Areas of fog. Low 43F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
4 mph W
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

Crowley

44°F Clear Feels like 44°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
89%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear skies. Low 43F. Winds light and variable.
47°F Clear skies. Low 43F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
4 mph W
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

Opelousas

41°F Clear Feels like 41°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
97%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mostly clear. Low 42F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
47°F Mostly clear. Low 42F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Wind
4 mph W
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Clear

Breaux Bridge

45°F Clear Feels like 45°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
93%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Mostly clear. Low 42F. Winds light and variable.
47°F Mostly clear. Low 42F. Winds light and variable.
Wind
4 mph W
Precip
10%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Overcast

New Iberia

45°F Overcast Feels like 45°
Wind
0 mph
Humidity
100%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Clear but chilly. Low of 42. Calm winds
44°F Clear but chilly. Low of 42. Calm winds
Wind
2 mph WSW
Precip
0%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous

Sidebar

Trending Stories