King Felipe last week stripped his sister Infanta Cristina of her Duchess of Palma title because of the corruption scandal embroiling her and her husband.
King Juan Carlos made infanta Cristina a duchess when she married Iñaki Urdangarin. But authorities accuse Urdangarin of using a non-profit company for personal gain. And the Infanta has stood by her husband.
The Royal Household under Don Juan Carlos had already stripped the couple of royal duties and had urged Infanta Cristina to renounce her dynastic rights. She has refused.
Events have moved fast. Infanta Cristina was in Spain recently with the rest of her family for Prince Kardam’s funeral.
However, now the dispute is over whether the King stripped Infanta Cristina of her title or she resigned it. She sent him a letter doing so at around the same time.
Infanta Cristina is now living and working in Geneva. Her mother, Queen Sofia, serves as a bridge between family members.
Infanta Cristina, King Juan Carlos’ youngest daughter, testified yesterday for several hours before a Balearic Islands judge in connection with her husband’s corruption investigation.
Infanta Cristina, according to media reports, said she trusted her husband and also appeared to vouch for his innocence.
Anti-corruption investigators believe the the infanta’s husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, used a sports related foundation to funnel public funds for personal use.
Even though prosecutors did not want to involve the King’s daughter in the formal investigation, Judge José Castro called her to testify over whether she had any knowledge or played a part in any crimes.
The case has become a major headache for the Royal Family amid Spain’s economic crisis and the public’s widespread disdain for people in power.
About 200 agents were at the courthouse for security, said media reports. There were also numerous supporters and anti-monarchy protesters. She smiled and greeted the crowd.
Officials allowed Infanta Cristina’s drivers to drop her off near the courthouse door but they denied any special treatment.
A new book by reporters for Spanish newspaper El Mundo is shedding some light into events that supposedly led to the ongoing corruption investigation against the King’s son-in law Iñaki Urdangarín.
The tome says that Urdangarin saw himself in financial trouble after buying what is often called a small palace in the exclusive Pedralbes area of Barcelona.
The book says that King Juan Carlos was upset at Urdangarin’s previous living arrangements with Infanta Cristina. Don Juan Carlos, it says, said his daughter was used to living in a palace and not a small apartment.
Also included is a story about Prince Felipe getting into an argument with Urdangarin over money. The reporters say the Prince was unhappy with his brother-in-law asking for help to pay for his expenses.
Adding to the drama, the book says that Urdangarin blamed Princess Letizia, a former journalist, for orchestrating at least some of his public troubles.
The Royal Household maintains that it told Urdangarin to give up his business dealings years ago.
The Royal Household has never asked Infanta Cristina to renounce her role within the Royal Family or to divorce her husband Iñaki Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma de Mallorca.
El País royal watcher Mábel Galaz reported that a Household spokesman had denied rumors and reports that the King’s people had made the requests to the Infanta amid her husband’s ongoing legal troubles.
Galaz reported that Infanta Cristaina recently returned from a trip to Africa. However, the Royal Household is keeping her at a distance and off the official agenda.