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Princess Delphine of Belgium shares 'regrets' following shock letter leak

Princess Delphine of Belgium during the parade for the Belgium National Day on July 21, 2023
Princess Delphine of Belgium during the parade for the Belgium National Day on July 21, 2023 (Getty)

Princess Delphine, the half-sister of King Philippe of Belgium, released a statement at the weekend to clarify her position following the leak of a controversial letter about her royal role.

The Princess, who was officially recognised as King Albert II's daughter three years ago, following a ten-year paternity claim, wrote to the Belgian Prime Minister to "clarify an embarrassing situation," highlighting that she is treated differently than her siblings.

The letter, which she says was sent in confidence by her adviser to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, explained her feelings.

princess delphine dancing with the stars
The Princess is one of the King's three siblings (Getty)

Her statement read: "HRH Princess Delphine of Saxe Coburg, through her advisor Marc Uyttendaele, intends to make the following clarification. "She noted that a confidential letter sent by her advisor to the Prime Minister was communicated without her knowledge to the press. She regrets it, her goal never having been to provoke any controversy.

"However, in a spirit of kindness and with the desire for discretion, she considers it necessary to clarify an embarrassing situation which is characterized by the fact that she is treated differently compared to her sister Astrid and her brother Laurent.

Tribute ceremony and presentation of the photo exhibition to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of King Baudouin, in the presence of Princess Delphine
The Princess at a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of King Baudouin (Getty)

"She was told that this was justified by the fact that she does not receive – which she never requested – an allowance from the public treasury. It seems to her, on the other hand, that there is no reason why she should not be considered fully as a member of the royal family."

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The Belgian PM gave a robust response when questioned about the letter during his visit to Texas at the weekend. "I also received that letter, and the opinion about it is very clear," he told VTM NIEUWS.

With her family at the military and civilian parade on the Belgian National Day
With her family at the military and civilian parade on the Belgian National Day (Getty)

He went on to explain that there are times when Princess Delphine isn't invited to royal ceremonies and official events because although she is a royal by birth, she isn't a working member of the institution.

"A number of people from the royal family also have an official position. Princess Delphine does not have that and so she is not invited," he said went on, adding: "That's as clear as pump water."

Princess Delphine of Belgium attends the military and civilian parade on the Belgian National Day, in Brussels, on July 21, 2023.
The Princess wanted to address her leaked letter (Getty)

"Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent have an official position and must be accountable to the government and parliament. In the case of Princess Delphine this is not the case. "We also don't ask her to do certain things. I don't see that as discrimination," he concluded.

King Philippe and his wife Queen Mathilde became Belgium's monarchs a decade ago, following Albert's abdication for health reasons. He became the second Belgian monarch to abdicate, following his father Leopold III.

King Philippe of Belgium and Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant attend the Coronation Reception For Overseas Guests at Buckingham Palace on May 05, 2023 in London, England
King Philippe of Belgium with his daughter Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant (Getty)

"In Philippe and Mathilde I place my trust," said Albert as he signed his act of abdication. "Philippe you possess a great heart and intelligence to serve our country," added Albert, who embraced his son in a warm hug before thanking his wife Paola for her years of support.

During his speech, Albert also gave his thanks to the numerous statesmen he had worked with during his 20-year reign, including then-Belgian Prime Minister, Elio Di Rupo, who sat in the audience.