King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians stepped out with their eldest child Princess Elisabeth at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels where she is a recruit. Princess Elisabeth posed in full military fatigues along with her parents and siblings just days after Prince Albert II’s illegitimate daughter and King Philippe’s half-sister, Delphine Saxe-Coburg, became a princess at the age of 52.
HRH Princess Delphine of Saxe-Coburg triumphed at the Brussels Court of Appeal last week after a seven-year-long battle to be officially recognised by her father, former Belgian King Albert II and treated as an equal to her royal siblings.
The artist, known until last week as Delphine Boel, said the ruling made her feel like she finally has the right to exist.
Following the ruling, she revealed she hasn’t heard from the palace after the ruling and hasn’t been in touch with her father King Albert II since 2001.
And there was no mention of Princess Delphine as King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, with their children Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eleonore attended the ceremony to mark the start of Princess Elisabeth’s academic year at the Royal Military Academy.
King Philippe told the new recruits: “You will succeed because you will have lived the values of the Royal Military School – a sense of honour, self-discipline, engagement, courage, respect.”
Princess Delphine’s struggle to be recognised by her biological father started in 2005, six years after a biography on King Albert II’s wife, Donna Paola, sparked speculation on the monarch’s infidelity and the existence of an illegitimate child.
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Prince Albert recognised his daughter on the same day, and proceedings confirmed her as a princess yesterday.
Speaking about the court’s ruling, Princess Delphine told Belgian newspaper Le Soir: “The court has agreed with me, the justice system has clearly established that I have the right to be recognised.
“That gives me peace of mind, because it means that I was right and that I have a right to exist.
“I wanted to settle the matter for many years behind closed walls, in secret, but I was the black sheep.
“That was an unpleasant and even unliveable situation.”