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  #61  
Old 10-01-2020, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinosa View Post
I agree with you. Every son or daughter of the same father (or mother) should have identical rights. That's how things are in my country.
As stated previously, the court of appeal did not rule that every child of the same parent should have identical rights. From what has been released to the public, the ruling applies to Delphine and her children exclusively. Other illegitimate children of noble fathers continue to be ineligible for rank or title. (Illegitimate children of noble mothers technically have identical rights to their legitimate half-siblings, but that is because women are not permitted to pass on their titles in the normal course of events.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
Some 16th and 17th century monarchs merrily handed out dukedoms to their illegitimate sons, but not the title of prince or princess. Interesting decision.
King Louis XIV of France decreed that his illegitimate children would enjoy equal rank and rights of succession, but his act was highly contentious and partially repealed by his successor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
Suppose she'd been older than Philippe? What would have happened then?
That is one more reason why I cannot imagine King Philippe being pleased with the decision, though I am sure his mission to slim down the funding and titles of the royal family is the primary one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by titiromi View Post
Titles come not only from blood but also from a recognised wedding. what's the point in having titled persons if traditionnal royal rules are not to be followed after all. The mere existence of a monarchy causes inequality.
There are monarchies where illegitimate children are or were titled under the rules in force (such as Japan until 1947), but in this case it is the court which has created an inequality between Delphine and all other children in the same position.
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  #62  
Old 10-01-2020, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
The original intention and traditional interpretation of the decree (which I think you agreed with when it was debated in the Titles thread some time ago) is that princes and princesses who are children or grandchildren of Albert II are princes and princesses of Belgium. It does not apply to non-princes and non-princesses who are children or grandchildren of Albert II.

Translation:
Article 2. In the public and private acts relating to them, the Princes and the Princesses, children and grandchildren, born in direct descendance from His Majesty King Albert II carry the title of Prince or of Princess of Belgium following their forename, and, so far as they carry them, their family name and their dynastic title and ahead of the other titles to which their ancestry gives them the right. Their forename is preceded by the predicate His or Her Royal Highness.
Yes, my original reading was different but because of this ruling I wonder whether the court is using this different interpretation. I thought you were advocating the latter but may have misremembered.

Thanks for providing the translation for the many readers who don't understand Dutch - my intent was to translate it asap after posting but got called away.

Quote:
A note for readers unfamiliar with the history of Belgian royal titles: The provision quoted by Somebody was modified from a rule originally written in 1891 (sixty years after Leopold I became King of the Belgians), which created the titles of Prince and Princess of Belgium for the first time.

The intent of the decree was to rule that the royal princes and princesses would be called princes and princesses "of Belgium". The members of the royal family already were princes and princesses.

If the intent of the decree were to rule on which descendants are princes and princesses, then none of the members of the Belgian royal family were princes and princesses between 1831 and 1891 - which would surely come as a surprise to them.
I would not necessarily say that the intend was to rule who were princes and princesses - the point was clearly about establishing who were princes and princesses of Belgium. However, that does not exclude that it might also have this (unintended?) consequence. From the start the wording was unclear...
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  #63  
Old 10-01-2020, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
I was quite surprised by this. I'm glad that she's been formally recognised as Albert's daughter, and very sorry that he hasn't had the decency to recognise her himself rather than the courts having to do it, but royal titles pass through the legitimate male line. I'm not saying that that's right, just that it's how it is. Some 16th and 17th century monarchs merrily handed out dukedoms to their illegitimate sons, but not the title of prince or princess. Interesting decision.

Suppose she'd been older than Philippe? What would have happened then?
Did the court also rule that she and her two children have succession rights? Because otherwise it would not matter whether she is older or younger (for example, even if Albert of Monaco would give his eldest son a title, he would not become the new heir - Albert would need to marry his mother for him to replace Jacques (which he of course won't do)) I haven't read that anywhere else - and would think that highly unlikely (but nothing should surprise us in the case...).
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  #64  
Old 10-01-2020, 07:08 PM
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Has the ruling from the court of appeal come into force immediately, in which case Delphine and her children are legally TRH Princess Delphine, Princess Joséphine, and Prince Oscar? Or is it (like the paternity ruling of last year) not final until any potential appeals are completed, in which case Delphine and her children remain Jonkvrouw Delphine Boël, Miss Joséphine O'Hare and Mr. Oscar O'Hare for the time being?
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  #65  
Old 10-01-2020, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HereditaryPrincess View Post
This was surprising! I expected them to give Delphine a noble title at the least - such as Countess - or whatever the Belgian equivalent of Baroness/Lady is (I'm not quite familiar with Belgian titles and how they work) but not princess and HRH. I wonder if something rippled between her and Albert, forcing him to give her a title?
Albert is not giving her a title. It's the court that made a decision - most likely going completely against his wishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amaryllus View Post
But It’s legal precedent now. An illegitimate child has been recognized and titled by law. It opens the door the tiniest crack for other Aspiring Royal or Noble illegitimate children to at least Try In their countries. And they will sooner or later.
It's not new... For example the eldest son of the Duke of Parma (cousin of King Willem-Alexander) also is illegitimate and claimed a royal style and title and was granted it by the Dutch court based on the current rules for the nobility in the Netherlands. However, his youngest son will one day be his heir.

To me, the main question here is on what basis was she granted this style and title - my guess is a very specific royal law, so in that case, it would depend on whether a country would have a similar law for this top apply.
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  #66  
Old 10-01-2020, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
My guess it all comes down to the KB of 2015. The rule about all children and grandchildren are princes and princesses of Belgium is restricted to those of 'the king' and 'the crown prince(ss)' (interpretation seems to be those of the current and future kings and crown prince(sse)s) (art. 1) and to king Albert II's descendants (art. 2) which includes Delphine and her children but not Esmeralda's children (as grandchildren of Leopold for whose descendants other provisions apply) nor Amedeo's children (as great-grandchildren of Albert).
Thank you! It becomes clearer to me how the court may have reached its decision, even though it is counter to the original intentions of the royal decrees of 1891, 1991, and 2015.

However, what about the royal experts I referred to in the post below? What is the basis for their opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
And it is ironic that they rely on Article 2 of the 2015 law to assert that Delphine has the right to be a princess while claiming that Astrid's grandchildren Anna Astrid and Maximilian have no right to be Belgian princes(ses), even when the formula "Princes and Princesses" specifying descendants of King Leopold I in Article 4 is identical to the formula specifying children and grandchildren of King Albert II in Article 2.

Links to the text of the law in Dutch and French are posted here.

Translation:

Article 2. In the public and private acts relating to them, the Princes and the Princesses, children and grandchildren, born in direct descendance from His Majesty King Albert II carry the title of Prince or of Princess of Belgium following their forename, and, so far as they carry them, their family name and their dynastic title and ahead of the other titles to which their ancestry gives them the right. Their forename is preceded by the predicate His or Her Royal Highness.

[...]

Article 4. The Princes and Princesses, born in direct descendance from His Majesty Leopold, George, Christian, Frederick of Saxe-Coburg, who are not covered by Articles 1 to 3, carry following their forename and, so far as they carry it, their family name, the titles to which their ancestry gives them the right.


It seems more than a little hypocritical to interpret Article 2 as giving the right to be a prince(ss) to all children and grandchildren of Albert II while interpreting Article 4 as not giving the right to be a prince(ss) to all descendants of Leopold I.
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  #67  
Old 10-01-2020, 07:32 PM
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I thought it was ALWAYS the Sovereign (of any country) who decided who received royal titles and who did not. I guess I was wrong.
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  #68  
Old 10-01-2020, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sophie25 View Post
I thought it was ALWAYS the Sovereign (of any country) who decided who received royal titles and who did not. I guess I was wrong.
I am extremely curious about the court's basis for superseding the article of the Constitution which places titles of nobility under the authority of the King. It is one thing for the Constitutional Court to override a provision in the Civil Code, but I am surprised that a Court of Appeal has the authority to override the Constitution.

Article 113

The King may confer titles of nobility, without ever having the power to attach privileges to them.

https://www.lachambre.be/kvvcr/pdf_s...GrondwetUK.pdf

Again, by convention this article is read as granting authority over titles of nobility to the King (whose decisions must be countersigned by the Government in accordance with Article 106). The federal government states in its FAQ:

https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/ser...s/nobility/faq

8. I would like to nominate someone for a title of nobility. Is this possible? Who should I contact? What are the requirements?

Applications for the granting of a title of nobility (for yourself or on someone else's behalf) must always be addressed to the King (c/o Royal Palace, 1000 Brussels) or to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Applications submitted directly to the Nobility Department, to the Consultation Commission or to the Council of Nobility are inadmissible.

There are no specific formal requirements, but a curriculum vitae and/or any useful information on the person in question should be attached. In effect, applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Commission. The assessment takes into account, inter alia, the exceptional achievements of the person as regards our country.

It should be noted that this is always a favour and that, in principle, titles of nobility are only granted to physical persons with Belgian nationality.


9. I believe that I am the descendant of a noble ancestor. Am I eligible for a recognition of nobility? What are the conditions?

If the applicants consider themselves to be the legitimate direct descendent, in the male line, of an ancestor who belonged to the nobility in our regions until the end of the 'Ancien Régime' (i.e. until the abolition of the nobility in the French era) or who was officially a member of the nobility in his country of origin, they may lodge an application for recognition of nobility. The application must also be addressed to the King or to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The same applies to applications to restore nobility, i.e. if the nobility had already been lost by derogation prior to 1795.

In order to qualify for this procedure, it is required that the applicants themselves (or the descendant(s) for which they apply for recognition) are Belgian by birth. The procedure itself is carried out by the Council of Nobility on the basis of the application.

The full burden of proof lies with the applicants. Proof can be provided in the form of documents (certified true copies) (diplomas, birth, baptism or marriage certificates) proving beyond doubt, firstly, the nobility of the ancestor and, secondly, the direct and legitimate link in male line between the applicants and their noble ancestor. In view of the proof required, prior contact should be made with the Council clerk of the Council of Nobility (Attest.Adel-Noblesse@diplobel.fed.be (link sends e-mail)).

Please note that this is always a favour and that the King is in no way obliged to recognise or restore a title of nobility.
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  #69  
Old 10-01-2020, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
I would not necessarily say that the intend was to rule who were princes and princesses - the point was clearly about establishing who were princes and princesses of Belgium. However, that does not exclude that it might also have this (unintended?) consequence. From the start the wording was unclear...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
Yes, my original reading was different but because of this ruling I wonder whether the court is using this different interpretation. I thought you were advocating the latter but may have misremembered.
No, the interpretation I advocated back then, and which I stand by, was

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
My interpretation is that the 1891, 1991, and 2015 decrees do not determine which descendants are princes and princesses. They mainly instruct that any descendants who are princes or princesses and fall under the rules of the respective decree are entitled to use the title "Prince/ss of Belgium" and/or lesser titles.

The central basis for my interpretation remains the evidence for the original purpose of the decrees. To repost my comment from back then:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
The children and grandchildren of Leopold I, the first king of the Belgians, were born with the title of Prince/Princess, but to the best of my knowledge, there was no Royal Decree to stipulate that they would be princes and princesses. The descendants bestowed with the title Prince/ss of Belgium by the Royal Decrees of 1891 and 1991 were Princes and Princesses even before the decrees were issued.

For instance, the younger son of King Leopold I was referred to in the birth certificate of his daughter in 1870 (an image of it appears in this link) as:
Son Altesse Royale Monseigneur le Prince Philippe-Eugène-Ferdinand-Marie-Clément-Baudouin-Léopold-George Comte de Flandre, Duc de Saxe, Prince de Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha
If the royal decrees are the basis to rule on who is a prince or a princess (as Delphine's lawyers argue), then on what basis was the Count of Flanders referred to as a Prince in an official document written 21 years earlier than the first decree of 1891?

And if the court relied on the same argument as Delphine's lawyers, does its ruling have implications for deceased royals who were alive before 1891, retroactively stripping them of the titles of prince and princess?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
Did the court also rule that she and her two children have succession rights?
The statement from her lawyers (which seems to be the sole source of information on the ruling) apparently makes no mention of whether or how the court ruled on her remaining requests, apart from legal recognition and titles. She and her lawyers will speak publicly on Monday, and I hope more information will be provided then.
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  #70  
Old 10-01-2020, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leidi View Post
The thing is, Philippe will end up looking like the "bad guy" if he does, now has to clean his father's mess

Go figure. This is just going to get messier and messier for her and Philippe over time. He will loathe her since she is a symbol of the time his family was ripped apart and I also believe that he will struggle to be civil to her. For twelve years Delphine had more love and positive attention than he did and I do not believe that he will like having to sign documents officially recognizing her.
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  #71  
Old 10-01-2020, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AristoCat View Post
Go figure. This is just going to get messier and messier for her and Philippe over time. He will loathe her since she is a symbol of the time his family was ripped apart and I also believe that he will struggle to be civil to her. For twelve years Delphine had more love and positive attention than he did and I do not believe that he will like having to sign documents officially recognizing her.
And he shouldn’t have to. He is the king it was not the courts decision to grant Delphine a title. It is the Kings decision.
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  #72  
Old 10-01-2020, 08:40 PM
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This is something that is jarring. It's as if the politicians are telling the royals that they no longer have the right to decide a lot of things and it is clear that this is rather a violation of the royal prerogative.
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  #73  
Old 10-01-2020, 09:21 PM
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I read the news earlier but didn’t have time to post because I was petitioning this court. You see, I’m the illegitimate son of Badouin and want to be recognized as the rightful King of the Belgians

This will get appealed. No one is Parliament going to allow the Courts to decide who’s going to be on the Royal payroll. Belgium would go bankrupt otherwise.
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  #74  
Old 10-01-2020, 09:28 PM
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I hope it's appealed seven ways to Sunday for that very reason. It's absolutely absurd.
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  #75  
Old 10-01-2020, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I am extremely curious about the court's basis for superseding the article of the Constitution which places titles of nobility under the authority of the King. It is one thing for the Constitutional Court to override a provision in the Civil Code, but I am surprised that a Court of Appeal has the authority to override the Constitution.
Article 113

The King may confer titles of nobility, without ever having the power to attach privileges to them.

https://www.lachambre.be/kvvcr/pdf_s...GrondwetUK.pdf
Again, by convention this article is read as granting authority over titles of nobility to the King (whose decisions must be countersigned by the Government in accordance with Article 106). The federal government states in its FAQ:

https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/ser...s/nobility/faq
8. I would like to nominate someone for a title of nobility. Is this possible? Who should I contact? What are the requirements?

Applications for the granting of a title of nobility (for yourself or on someone else's behalf) must always be addressed to the King (c/o Royal Palace, 1000 Brussels) or to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Applications submitted directly to the Nobility Department, to the Consultation Commission or to the Council of Nobility are inadmissible.

There are no specific formal requirements, but a curriculum vitae and/or any useful information on the person in question should be attached. In effect, applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Commission. The assessment takes into account, inter alia, the exceptional achievements of the person as regards our country.

It should be noted that this is always a favour and that, in principle, titles of nobility are only granted to physical persons with Belgian nationality.


9. I believe that I am the descendant of a noble ancestor. Am I eligible for a recognition of nobility? What are the conditions?

If the applicants consider themselves to be the legitimate direct descendent, in the male line, of an ancestor who belonged to the nobility in our regions until the end of the 'Ancien Régime' (i.e. until the abolition of the nobility in the French era) or who was officially a member of the nobility in his country of origin, they may lodge an application for recognition of nobility. The application must also be addressed to the King or to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The same applies to applications to restore nobility, i.e. if the nobility had already been lost by derogation prior to 1795.

In order to qualify for this procedure, it is required that the applicants themselves (or the descendant(s) for which they apply for recognition) are Belgian by birth. The procedure itself is carried out by the Council of Nobility on the basis of the application.

The full burden of proof lies with the applicants. Proof can be provided in the form of documents (certified true copies) (diplomas, birth, baptism or marriage certificates) proving beyond doubt, firstly, the nobility of the ancestor and, secondly, the direct and legitimate link in male line between the applicants and their noble ancestor. In view of the proof required, prior contact should be made with the Council clerk of the Council of Nobility (Attest.Adel-Noblesse@diplobel.fed.be (link sends e-mail)).

Please note that this is always a favour and that the King is in no way obliged to recognise or restore a title of nobility.



I haven't seen the court ruling yet, but I suspect that, rather than overruling the King's authority, the Court simply followed a literal interpretation of the 2015 Royal Decree which was construed as meaning that the King's (and by extension the government's) intention was that all children and grandchildren of King Albert II should hold the title of Prince/Princess of Belgium with the style of Royal Highness. The blame lies solely on the sloppy drafting of the Royal Decree's text by whoever was responsible for it in the government.


Of course nothing prevents the King, with the consent of the government, from issuing a new Royal Decree to clarify that the aforementioned titles and styles do not apply to legitimized children who were born out of wedlock. I don't think they will do it though, mostly because it may be politically toxic and not really worth it.
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  #76  
Old 10-02-2020, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
I haven't seen the court ruling yet, but I suspect that, rather than overruling the King's authority, the Court simply followed a literal interpretation of the 2015 Royal Decree which was construed as meaning that the King's (and by extension the government's) intention was that all children and grandchildren of King Albert II should hold the title of Prince/Princess of Belgium with the style of Royal Highness. The blame lies solely on the sloppy drafting of the Royal Decree's text by whoever was responsible for it in the government.


Of course nothing prevents the King, with the consent of the government, from issuing a new Royal Decree to clarify that the aforementioned titles and styles do not apply to legitimized children who were born out of wedlock. I don't think they will do it though, mostly because it may be politically toxic and not really worth it.
I think she might force Philippe's hand if she starts asking for money or for the use of royal properties and such.
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  #77  
Old 10-02-2020, 12:56 AM
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I just wonder about Delphine; no one gains anything from this and it is clear that she's unaware that this will just make things more hostile for her among the royal court itself. She's now in a kind of limbo. A princess without a place and she has to be aware that he might in fact loathe her since she took his father's love and attention away from her for twelve long years and her mere presence reminds him regularly of that painful part of his life.
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  #78  
Old 10-02-2020, 01:19 AM
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Truly shocked. I totally agree with the last name and equal share of money that is her fathers. But this is too much.

If I was Alberts sisters I could be upset. They were legal daughters of a marriage and they were treated and still are like second class citizens. They and their brother were never treated equally.

It has to make other bastards pause even when other countries have other rules. I’d rather see Albert of Monaco’s older kids with titles. They at least were not conceived in an adulterous affair. I think it’s one thing when your parents are married it’s another when they are married to other people.

I don’t see how she will get a dotation as that is no longer given to any but the king and heir. Nor an official role as only the king and his spouse and heir have any specific role. Even his full siblings don’t.

She may get invited to official events but the courts can’t get her into Christmas and family events.
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  #79  
Old 10-02-2020, 02:14 AM
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I doubt that King Albert's sisters are upset. Princess Esmeralda seems well grounded and from what I have read in interviews she is not overly impressed by titles. The other sister has broken off all contact with her family all together. And it is not so surprising that things around 1950 were regarded differently than now, 70 years later.

A somewhat similar case -though only for a title of nobility - is the ruling of a Dutch court in favor of the illegitimate son of the Duke of Parma, who can now call himself Prince de Bourbon de Parme.

I would be surprised to see the king appealing against it. He has little to gain. If he loses such a case it will be a humiliation. If he wins the case many will suspect that the court bowed to pressure of the powers-that-be. And some will consider him cold-hearted. The first opinion pieces in newspapers claiming that the king should get in touch with his sister were already published in January. I am sure more will follow.

The king would be wise to stay out of it as much as he can, as was his policy up to now. If anything the government should handle the matter.

As for the dotation: IF (big if) Delphine is entitled to a dotation I suspect parliament will (try to) move to take away the dotation of all siblings of the king. A case about damages for Delphine would be interesting, she may have a good case to show how the state has worked against her for years.

Although I am not happy with the outcome (titles for Delphine) in a way I admire her. They tried to ignore her, bully her etc. but she just keeps going.
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  #80  
Old 10-02-2020, 02:17 AM
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Delphine Boël officially HRH Princess Delphine of Belgium

http://Hof van beroep beslist: Delph...be/p.M9aKevBny

The constitution doesn’t allow for Delphine to get a dotation.
Only the heir and former monarch get a dotation.
This has been changed in 2014.
Astrid and Laurent’s case is an exstinction scenario as they allready had a dotation in 2014. But they are named specifically in the constitution.

She does have the same rights to the inheritance of Albert as Filip, Astrid and Laurent.

I’ve read that Delphine will take on the French version of the family name: de Saxe-Cobourg. But her children will remain O’Hare.
Delphine will react on monday.

I believe Filip has seen all this as Albert’s problem or affair up till now. We will have to wait and see if he will take action now that she has become a Princess. If so, I expect him to do it in a sensible but decisive way together with Delphine.
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