King Philippe of Belgium met his half-sister, the newly minted Princess Delphine, for the first time earlier this month. The Belgian Royal Palace shared a photo on Thursday from the siblings’ meeting, which took place Oct. 9 at the Palace of Laeken. Alongside the picture, a joint statement from the King and Delphine Boël read: “It was a warm encounter. This long and rich discussion gave us the opportunity to learn to know each other. We talked about our respective lives and areas of shared interest. This bond will further develop within the family setting.” The royals, who bear a striking resemblance to one another, were pictured smiling as they stood next to each other, while seemingly practicing social distancing for the photo.
Delphine won her legal battle for a royal title earlier this month. Under the ruling, the artist was granted the title of Princess of Belgium and her children also became Prince and Princess. “She is delighted with this court decision which puts an end to a long procedure which is particularly painful for her and her family,” Delphine’s lawyer Marc Uyttendaele said in a statement after the decision. “A legal victory will never replace the love of a father but offers a sense of justice.”
King Albert II acknowledged in January that he is Delphine’s biological father after taking a court-ordered DNA test. “His Majesty King Albert II has taken note of the results of the DNA sample he submitted at the requests of the Brussels Court of Appeal. The scientific conclusions indicate that he is the biological father or Mrs Delphine Boël,” Albert’s lawyer said in a statement, according to The Brussels Times.
Queen Paola’s husband had an extramarital affair with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, Delphine’s mother. The artist was born in 1968. Albert, who abdicated in favor of his son Philippe in 2013, had denied that Delphine was his daughter for years. Following a seven-year long legal battle, the former King admitted in January that he had fathered a love child.
Delphine told AFP in August that the legal victory “really changed” her life. “For the first time, I felt taken seriously. I was finally heard,” she said (via The Brussels Times). “And then I found it extraordinary that justice can thus give hope to all those who are searching for their identity.”