Royalty and statesmen

In her autobiography the London-based artist says she "no longer obsesses" about gaining official recognition
Photo: Getty Images
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While King Albert has never publicly acknowledged Delphine's claim, neither the palace not the Belgian government has disputed it
Photo: Getty Images

'It's the end of the story' says unacknowledged daughter of king

10 APRIL 2008
The illegitimate daughter of King Albert of Belgium has revealed she's come to terms with the fact that she has yet to receive official recognition.

In her autobiography, published this week, Delphine Boel - whose Belgian mother Sybille Baroness de Selys Longchamps had a liaison with the king in the Sixties - writes she wants to bring to an end her nine-year bid to be acknowledged. "This is pretty much the end of the story. I have said what I had to say," she added at an event to mark the launch of Cutting The Cord on Wednesday.

Delphine's existence was first revealed in an unofficial biography of Albert's Italian wife Queen Paola in 1999. Speaking in his Christmas message for that year King Albert admitted to having an extramarital affair, but emphasised: "We won't dwell on this subject which is part of our private lives."

While King Albert has never acknowledged her as his daughter, Delphine's claim has not been disputed by either the palace or the Belgian government. But after years of striving for official recognition the London-based artist writes that she "no longer obsesses" over the issue.

Through the autobiography, Delphine - who has reportedly forged a relationship with her half-brother Prince Laurent - seems to have achieved closure.

"The book is a trip back in time," says the married mum of one. "I had so many questions about my origin, my parents, rejection etc."

"I had to cut the umbilical cord."