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Infanta Cristina
Infanta of Spain

Full name
Cristina Federica Victoria Antonia
Born 13 June 1965 (age 54)
Madrid, Spain
Spouse Iñaki Urdangarín (m. 1997)
Issue
Juan Urdangarín y de Borbón
Pablo Urdangarín y de Borbón
Miguel Urdangarín y de Borbón
Irene Urdangarín y de Borbón
House House of Bourbon
Father Juan Carlos I
Mother Sophia of Greece and Denmark
Religion Roman Catholicism
Spanish Royal Family
Coat of Arms of Spanish Monarch.svg

HM The King
HM The Queen


HM King Juan Carlos I
HM Queen Sofía


HRH The Duchess of Badajoz

  • HE Doña Simoneta
  • HE The Viscount de la Torre
  • HE Don Bruno
  • HE Don Luis
  • HE Don Fernando

HRH The Duchess of Soria and Hernani
HE The Duke of Soria and Hernani

  • HE Don Alfonso
  • HE Doña María

HRH The Dowager Duchess of Calabria

v · d · e

Infanta Cristina of Spain (Cristina Federica Victoria Antonia de la Santísima Trinidad de Borbón y de Grecia; born 13 June 1965, Madrid), is the younger daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain. She is seventh in the line of succession to the Spanish throne, after her siblings, Felipe and Elena and their children.

From 2013 she was under investigation and later tried for fraud relating to accusations of corruption involving a company owned by Cristina and her husband.

Early lifeEdit

Cristina was born at Our Lady of Loreto Clinic in Madrid and was baptized into the Church at the Palacio de La Zarzuela by the Archbishop of Madrid. Her godparents were Alfonso, Duke of Anjou and Cádiz (her first cousin once removed), and Infanta María Cristina of Spain (great-aunt).

EducationEdit

She received her secondary education at Santa María del Camino School and she graduated from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1989 with a degree in political science. She continued her studies at New York University, obtaining a master's degree in international relations in 1990. In 1991, she gained practical experience working at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The Infanta is fluent in Catalan, English, French, Greek and Spanish.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

She married team handball player Iñaki Urdangarín in Barcelona on 4 October 1997, at which time her father conferred on her the title Duchess of Palma de Mallorca for life.[2]

They have four children, all born in Barcelona:

They lived in Washington, D.C. from 2009 to 2012, where her husband worked for Telefónica. In August 2013 she moved with her four children to Geneva, Switzerland, to take a job with the Caixa Foundation, while her husband, who is the subject of an embezzlement investigation, remained in Barcelona.[3]

Corruption inquiry Edit

Her husband was investigated from early 2012 on suspicion of fraudulently obtaining millions in public funds in the Nóos case. In April 2013, Infanta Cristina was formally named as a suspect in the case by the judge in charge.[4] When invited to comment, a Royal Household spokesman said that the Casa Real "does not comment on judicial decisions", yet the next day, after the anti-corruption prosecutor announced that he would appeal the decision, it relented by expressing "absolute conformity" with the legal authorities.[5] In the light of the forthcoming trial, she and her children moved to Geneva, Switzerland, in summer 2013. On 7 January 2014, a Spanish judge charged her with tax fraud and money laundering and ordered her to appear in court.[6] The Infanta made her first appearance in the Majorca Court on 8 February 2014, where she denied any knowledge of her husband's dealings.[7]

Spanish judge Jose Castro formalised charges against Infanta Cristina on 25 June 2014.[8] In November 2014 the High Court of Palma de Mallorca upheld tax fraud charges against the princess, paving the way for her to face trial; however, it decided to drop money-laundering charges. Her lawyers maintained that they remained completely convinced of her innocence.[9] On 22 December 2014 the High Court of the Balearic Islands announced that Infanta Cristina, her husband, and 15 others would stand trial on tax fraud charges "as soon as next year".

On 12 June 2015, King Felipe VI officially deprived his sister of her dukedom, privately announcing his intention beforehand.[10][11] Pursuant to their meeting in person on 12 June Infanta Cristina wrote to the king (her brother) requesting the forfeiture of her noble title, immediately following which a royal decree to that effect was issued.[12][13][14][15] According to newspaper El País, between 1995 and 2013 the Spanish monarchy's approval rating dropped from 7.5 to 3.68 out of 10 amongst Spaniards. The Spanish media also attributed, in no small part, King Juan Carlos' abdication to these ongoing proceedings.[16] Her right of succession to the throne and to the royal title of infanta were unaffected.

Cristina's trial began on 11 January 2016, presided over by three judges in Palma, with a maximum potential sentence of eight years if found guilty.[17] The charges were filed by the 'Clean Hands' anti-graft organisation using a Spanish legal instrument known as the 'people's accusation'.[18] At this date, her lawyers had asked judges to drop the criminal charges against her, and the state prosecutor said there was insufficient evidence to back up the accusations, but on 29 January the Court in Palma de Mallorca, where the trial was being held, said in a statement it was upholding the charges.[19] She took the stand in March 2016, denying being an accessory to tax evasion, and denying knowledge of her husband's activities.[20] She insisted on her right to answer only questions from her own lawyer. She said that her husband handled the couple's finances, and that she did not know why some large personal expenses were charged to a credit card of a company that the couple owned. She said that she never spoke with her husband about these matters because she was not interested in the subject, and that she was very busy with her small children.[21] On 17 February 2017, she was acquitted of the charges, while her husband received a sentence of imprisonment for a term of six years and three months.[22] On 12 June 2018 the Supreme Court in appeal reduced this sentence to a term of five years and ten months.

Sports and participation in the OlympicsEdit

She practices a number of sports including skiing, but her favorite is sailing. She has taken part in many national and international events and was a member of the Spanish Olympic sailing team at the Seoul Games in 1988 where she was standard bearer in the opening parade.

Titles, styles and honorsEdit

TitlesEdit

  • 13 June 1965 – 26 September 1997: Her Royal Highness Infanta Cristina of Spain
  • 26 September 1997 – 12 June 2015: Her Royal Highness Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca
  • 12 June 2015 – present: Her Royal Highness Infanta Cristina of Spain

As a child of a Spanish monarch, Cristina is entitled to the designation and rank of infanta with the style of Royal Highness. On the occasion of her marriage in 1997, she was also created Duchess of Palma de Mallorca. She lost the dukedom in 2015 following her husband's alleged involvement in a corruption scandal. Her style and title in full: Her Royal Highness Doña Cristina Federica Victoria Antonia de la Santísima Trinidad de Borbón y Grecia, Infanta of Spain.

HonorsEdit

National honours Edit

  • Spain: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III[23]
  • Spain: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic[24]

Foreign honours Edit

  • Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria[25]
  • Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold[26]
  • Ecuador: Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit[27]
  • Egypt: Member Supreme Class of the Order of the Virtues[28][29]
  • El Salvador: Grand Cross with Silver Star of the Order of José Matías Delgado[30][31]
  • Germany: Grand cross 1st class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour[32][33]
  • Guatemala: Grand Cross of the Order of the Quetzal[34][34]
  • Iceland: Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon
  • Japan: Grand Cordon (Paulownia) of the Order of the Precious Crown[35]
  • Jordan: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Star of Jordan[36]
  • Luxembourg: Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
  • Mexico: Grand Cross of the Order of the Aztec Eagle[37][38]
  • Nepalese Royal Family: Member First Class of the Order of the Three Divine Powers[39]
  • Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau[40]
  • Norway: Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav[41]
  • Peru: Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun[42]
  • Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Christ[43]
  • Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry
  • Sweden: Recipient of the 50th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf[44]
  • Thailand: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Elephant[45][46]

References Edit

  1. La Familia Real Española hoy y ayerUniversität Heidelberg.
  2. Real Decreto 1502/1997 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  3. Infanta Cristina: moving to Switzerland Royal Musings
  4. Judge targets Princess Cristina in Nóos corruption probe. El Pais
  5. La Casa del Rey expresa su "sorpresa" ante el cambio de criterio del juez (in Spanish). El Periodico de Catalunya
  6. Spanish princess Infanta Cristina summoned over fraudBBC News. 7 January 2014.
  7. Spain's Princess Cristina in court over corruption caseBBC News. 8 February 2014
  8. Spain's Princess Cristina to face chargesBBC News. 25 June 2014
  9. Tax trial confirmed for Spain's Princess CristinaBBC News. 7 November 2014
  10. Spanish king strips sister news.yahoo.com, June 11, 2015
  11. Real Decreto 470/2015 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  12. Infanta Cristina's letter (1/4)
  13. Infanta Cristina's letter (2/4)
  14. Infanta Cristina's letter (3/4)
  15. Infanta Cristina's letter (4/4)
  16. La monarquía, en el peor momento de popularidadEl País (in Spanish)
  17. Spain's Princess Cristina on trial in fraud caseBBC News. 11 January 2016
  18. Spain's Princess Cristina stands trial on tax fraud chargesReuters
  19. Court rules tax fraud trial of Spain's Princess Cristina must go aheadReuters
  20. Spain's Princess Cristina takes stand at her tax evasion trialThe Guardian
  21. Spain's Princess Cristina takes stand at fraud trialBBC News
  22. Spain's Princess Cristina cleared in tax trialBBC News. 17 February 2017
  23. Real Decreto 1191/1988 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  24. Real Decreto 1978/1983 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  25. El Rey recibe al presidente de AustriaEl País (in Spanish). 3 June 1997
  26. Foro Dinastías, State visit of Belgium in Spain, 1994
  27. Visita de Estado del Presidente del Ecuador a España 10 July 2001
  28. Foro Dinastías, State visit of Egypt in Spain
  29. Visita de Estado del Presidente de Egipto a España
  30. Foro Dinastías
  31. Visita de Estado del Presidente de El Salvador a España
  32. Foro Dinastías, State visit of Stephanopoulos in Spain, 2001
  33. Visita de Estado del Presidente de Grecia a España
  34. 34.0 34.1 At the Spanish Court blog, State dinner in the Royal Palace
  35. Hemeroteca ABC
  36. State visit of Jordan in Spain (1985), Photo of Infanta Cristina wearing the order
  37. El Presidente de México de Visita Oficial en España
  38. El Besamanos
  39. Foro Dinastías State visit of Nepal in Spain, 1983
  40. Hemeroteca ABC
  41. Visita de Estado de los Reyes de Noruega a España
  42. Visita de Estado del Presidente de Perú a España
  43. Photo of Cristina wearing the cross
  44. Photo of Cristina wearing medal
  45. Foro Dinastías, State visit in Thailand
  46. Visita de Estado de los Reyes de España a Tailandia

External linksEdit

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