BRUSSELS — A Belgian appeals court has ruled that King Albert must provide DNA in a court case brought by a woman who claims to be the love child of the former Belgian monarch.

The decision issued Monday came as a surprise since a lower court ruled Delphine Boel could not rely on such forensic evidence to establish paternity.

Monday's ruling gives King Albert three months to provide a DNA sample which would be used to determine if he was Boel's father.

Boel's claim has been on and off the front pages of Belgian newspapers for years. Albert has never publicly denied being her father.

He can appeal the latest decision or refuse to provide DNA.

Albert's son Philippe is the ruling monarch of Belgium.