- Princess Delphine of Belgium said she cried after first speaking to her father, King Albert II.
- Delphine opened up about asking him to recognize her as his daughter in a new documentary.
- She said he told her: “Ah, because it’s not going so well as an artist you need some attention.”
Princess Delphine of Saxe-Coburg, the previously unrecognized child of King Albert II of Belgium, said she was left “completely crushed and crying” after meeting her father and his lawyers for the first time, according to The Times of London.
The royal opened up in part one of a new three-part television documentary called “Delphine: mijn verhaal,” or “Delphine: my story,” which is set to air on the Flemish VRT channel on Wednesday.
In the documentary, Delphine, a 53-year-old artist, said she first met Albert, 87, in 2013, where she pleaded with him to acknowledge his paternity or face legal action.
She said her father “sneered” at her and told her: “Ah, because it’s not going so well as an artist you need some attention.” She added: “At that moment I thought, ‘How unbelievably rude is this?'”
In October 2020, Delphine won a seven-year legal battle that led to Albert legally recognizing her as his daughter, Insider’s Samantha Grindell previously reported. According to the BBC, the former king, whose 20-year reign spanned from 1993 to 2013, reportedly had an affair with Delphine’s mother, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamp, between 1966 to 1984, leading to the princess’ birth.
The Times further reported that Albert, who married Queen Paola in 1959, abdicated the throne in 2013, succeeded by his son Philippe a month after Delphine began legal action to compel her father to take a DNA test. Insider reported at the time that Albert was told he would have had to pay €5,000, or around $5,586, for every day he did not provide a sample for the DNA test.
Delphine told viewers that she left that first meeting with Albert and his lawyers in tears after they told her she was “‘putting a gun to the king’s head’ by going to court,” according to The Times.
“The first time I visited him and his lawyers, he was very nasty and made me cry. I never thought I would go to court. But I did it out of a certain principle,” she said, according to The Times.
After the DNA test confirmed his paternity in October 2020, Delphine visited Albert and Paola, according to the local newspaper De Standaard. In a jointly signed press release, Delphine, Albert, and Paola described the meeting as “a new chapter, rich in emotions, peace of mind, understanding and hope.”
In July 2021, People reported that Delphine attended her first engagement as a recognized royal with a title at the Royal Palace of Brussels alongside her husband, James O’Hare, an American businessman, and other members of the family.
Speaking in the documentary about their relationship now, The Times reported that Delphine said she never felt close to her father: “I called him ‘daddy’ because I was instructed to call him that. But I never felt that way.”
“Today I enjoy a cordial and mutually respectful relationship. But I keep my specific interaction with them private,” she added, according to The Times. “I get on well with the royal family and I like them. They have been hospitable.”
Representatives for the Royal Palace of Brussels declined Insider’s request for comment.