Free Press Journal

Spanish king strips sister of duchess title


Infanta Cristina de Borbon

Madrid: By royal decree under Spanish King Felipe VI, his younger sister Infanta Cristina de Borbon will no longer hold the title of Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, Spains official state bulletin announced on Friday. The decision to revoke the titles of Infanta Cristina and her husband Inaki Urdangarin, signed by King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, was first announced on Thursday, coinciding with investigations implicating the former duke and duchess in a corruption scandal, Spanish news agency Efe reported.

On Friday, Infanta Cristina’s lawyer, Miquel Roca, said that she had “expressed her intention to renounce to her title some days ago” in a letter and thus agreed with the king’s decision.

However, the royal palace claimed that the letter in which Infanta Cristina renounced her title arrived at the Zarzuela Palace after the king had already informed her of the news.

Investigations into Critsina’s corruption case began in 2010 over concerns regarding the Noos Foundation, a non-profit organisation headed by Urdangarin, suspected of squandering 6.1 million euros ($6.84 million) of public funds from 2004 to 2007. Some of the money is suspected to have been transferred to Aizoon, a company largely owned by Cristiana and her husband.

King Felipe’s sister was given the title in 1997 by her father, the then King Juan Carlos I, upon her marriage to Urdangarin, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca. She has, however, not carried out any official activity as a member of the royal family since the end of 2011.

According to another report by Xinhua news agency, with Cristiana and her husband Urdangerin due to face trial in Palma later this year, this decision is seen as a way for Felipe, who succeeded his father Juan Carlos just over a year ago, to distance himself from his sister.