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Belgium’s King Hailed for Remarks Alluding to Out-of-Wedlock Child

Associated Press

King Albert II got top marks in the Belgian media Monday for a Christmas message that was widely seen as a public acknowledgment that 31 years ago he fathered an out-of-wedlock daughter.

Albert indirectly confessed to a past infidelity first revealed in October by an unauthorized biography of his wife, Italian-born Queen Paola.

In his Christmas Eve address, the king said that he and Paola lived through a “crisis” in the late 1960s that almost wrecked their marriage but that they overcame their problems and rediscovered “a deep love and understanding.”

It was his first public reaction to the claim by Mario Danneels, author of Paola’s biography, that Delphine Boel, 31, an artist now living in London, is the daughter of Albert and Sybille de Selys Longchamps, the former wife of a Belgian industrialist.

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The conservative daily La Libre Belgique called the king’s speech “courageous.”


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