Court orders retired Belgian king to take paternity test to prove he is not related to multimedia artist

The retired Belgian king has been ordered to take a DNA paternity test by a Brussels court, raising the prospect of finally resolving whether he is the father of Delphine Boel, a 50-year-old aristocrat multimedia artist.

King Albert II, who has refused to recognise Ms Boel as his daughter, must submit to the test within three months or be legally presumed to be her father.

An earlier court-ordered DNA test proved that Jacques Boel, scion of one of Belgium’s richest industrial dynasties, was not her biological father.

Since that test, Ms Boel, who has two children, has tried to prove that Albert, 83, who abdicated in 2013 in favour of his son Philippe after 20 years on the throne, is her father. The decision also cost him his immunity to court judgments such as the paternity test, which would involve a saliva test being carried out on Albert, Ms Boel and her mother at a Brussels hospital.

Delphine Boel arrives at the Brussels Trial Court of First Instance, on September 23, 2014 in Brussels, for the pleadings to contest the paternity of her father Jacques Boel and to ask for the recognition of the paternity of King Albert II. Boel intends to prove she is Albert II’s biological daughter.

Ms Boel’s lawyers said in their statement that they were pleased with the “strong affirmation of the principle of acting in the interests of the child”.

A 1999 biography of Queen Paola, Albert’s Italian wife, alleged he had a long extramarital affair with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, Ms Boel’s mother, which resulted in the birth of a daughter in the Sixties.

The Belgian palace told local media that it would not comment, insisting it was “in the private domain”.

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