Belgian artist Delphine Boël and her attorney are seen leaving the Justice Palace in Brussels, Belgium, following a hearing on February 21, 2017, related to her fight to be recognized as a Belgian princess. File Photo by Stephanie LeCocq/EPA-EFE
Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A Belgian artist born of an extramarital affair between King Albert II and another woman more than a half-century ago has won the legal right to be called a princess by the Brussels Court of Appeals.
The court issued its ruling on Thursday, punctuating a decades-long campaign by Delphine Boël for the title.
For the past 20 years, the artist and sculptor has fought a legal battle to be recognized as part of Belgium's royal family.
Albert II, who has three other children, abdicated the throne in 2013 partly because of Boël's paternity claims in court.
Albert II was forced to acknowledge in January that he fathered Boël during his affair with Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps in the late 1960s, after the court ordered last year that he take a DNA test to confirm paternity.
Longchamp's husband was part of a noble family of industrialists.
"She is delighted with this court decision which ends a long process which is particularly painful for her and her family," an attorney for Boël said.
"A legal victory will never replace the love of a father but offers a feeling of justice, further reinforced by the fact that many children who have gone through the same ordeals will find the strength to face them."
Boël, 52, will be now called Delphine of Saxen-Coburg-Gotha, princess of Belgium, and her two children will be acknowledged as a prince and princess of Belgium, as well.
Boël's siblings now officially include Belgium King Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent.