Belgian king meets denied half-sister for first time

King Philippe of Belgium meets half-sister Princess Delphine for first time - photo

King Philippe of Belgium meets half-sister Princess Delphine for first time - photo

Yet, he continued to deny his daughter from that relationship, keeping her secret throughout his twenty years on the throne and after his abdication, until a Belgian court ordered the DNA test.

"I unreservedly endorse the communique that the King and Princess Delphine have published and I join in the spirit of this message", he said.

After a few momentous weeks, during which a two-decade royal paternity scandal finally came to an end, the monarch finally met the newly-named Princess Delphine of Saxe-Coburg - until recently known as Delphine Boel.

The test confirmed he was indeed her biological father, which he had refused to admit since the revelation in 1999 of an old extra-marital affair.

Saxe-Coberg, daughter of former Belgian King Albert II, won the right to call herself a princess earlier this month, following a Brussels Court of Appeal ruling that said she had the same rights.

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Delphine had publicly said the former monarch was her father since 2005.

These were the details of the news King Albert II "very happy" with the meeting between King Philippe. for this day. "We had the chance to get to know each other during a long and rich exchange where we spoke about our respective lives and our common interests", the king and Delphine said in a joint statement. "This bond will further develop within the family setting". Delphine's mother, Baroness Sibylle de Selys Longchamps had a long affair with the King. The king's extramarital relationship continued until 1984.

In a statement, Albert's lawyers said "the scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father of Mrs Delphine Boel".

The princess, who is a professional artist, previously said she didn't expect anything from the royals after seven years of court proceedings to prove she was related to them.

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