Infanta Cristina of Spain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Infanta Cristina at the GAVI Alliance conference in London, 13 June 2011
Born (1965-06-13) 13 June 1965 (age 58)
Our Lady of Loreto Hospital, Madrid, Spain
(m. 1997; sep. 2022)
IssueJuan Urdangarin y Borbón
Pablo Urdangarin y Borbón
Miguel Urdangarin y Borbón
Irene Urdangarin y Borbón
Cristina Federica Victoria Antonia de la Santísima Trinidad de Borbón y de Grecia
FatherJuan Carlos I of Spain
MotherSophia of Greece and Denmark
SignatureCristina's signature

Infanta Cristina (Cristina Federica Victoria Antonia de la Santísima Trinidad de Borbón y de Grecia, born 13 June 1965) is the younger daughter of King Juan Carlos I and his wife, Queen Sofía. She is sixth in the line of succession to the Spanish throne, after her brother King Felipe VI's children, her sister Elena, and Elena's children.

From 2013 she was investigated and later tried for fraud and acquitted of corruption involving a company owned by Cristina and her husband. Despite the acquittal, she was nonetheless stripped of her title of Duchess of Palma de Mallorca by her brother King Felipe VI as a result of the case.

Early life[edit]

Cristina de Borbón was born on 13 June 1965 at Our Lady of Loreto Hospital, now known as ORPEA Madrid Loreto 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 Maria Cristina of Spain (great-aunt).

She is a sailor, and competed in the Tornado event at the 1988 Summer Olympics.[1]

She received her secondary education at Santa María del Camino School before graduating from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1989 with a degree in political science. She pursued postgraduate studies at New York University, obtaining an MA in international relations in 1990. In 1991, she gained practical experience working at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.[citation needed]

She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, French, and Greek.[2]

Marriage and children[edit]

Cristina married team handball player Iñaki Urdangarin at Barcelona Cathedral on 4 October 1997. On this occasion, she was endowed as Duchess of Palma de Mallorca for life.[3] The couple have four children, all born at Teknon Medical Centre in Barcelona:

  • Juan Valentín Urdangarin y Borbón (born 29 September 1999),
  • Pablo Nicolás Sebastián Urdangarin y de Borbón (born 6 December 2000),
  • Miguel Urdangarin y Borbón (born 30 April 2002),
  • Irene Urdangarin y Borbón (born 5 June 2005).

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 was the subject of an embezzlement investigation, remained in Barcelona.[4] On 24 January 2022, Cristina and Urdangarin announced their separation.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] In 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.[8] The infanta made her first appearance in the Majorca Court on 8 February 2014, where she denied any knowledge of her husband's dealings.[9]

Spanish judge Jose Castro formalised charges against Infanta Cristina on 25 June 2014.[10] 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.[11] 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".[12]

On 12 June 2015, King Felipe VI officially deprived his sister of her dukedom, privately announcing his intention beforehand.[13][14] 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.[15][16][17][18][failed verification] 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.[19] 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.[20] The charges were filed by the 'Clean Hands' anti-graft organisation using a Spanish legal instrument known as the 'people's accusation'.[21] At that time, 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.[22] She took the stand in March 2016, denying being an accessory to tax evasion, and denying knowledge of her husband's activities.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] On 12 June 2018 the Supreme Court in appeal reduced this sentence to a term of five years and ten months.

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

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.

  • 13 June 1965 - 4 October 1997: Her Royal Highness Infanta Doña Cristina of Spain
  • 4 October 1997 - 11 June 2015: Her Royal Highness Infanta Doña Cristina of Spain, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca[26]
  • 11 June 2015 - present: Her Royal Highness Infanta Doña Cristina of Spain


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cristina, Princess de Borbón". Olympedia. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  2. ^ Oliver Fohrmann. "La Familia Real Española hoy y ayer". Universität Heidelberg. Archived from the original on 16 December 2003.
  3. ^ Jefatura del Estado (27 September 1997), Real Decreto 1502/1997, de 26 de septiembre, por el que se concede, con carácter vitalicio, la facultad de usar el título de Duquesa de Palma de Mallorca a Su Alteza Real la Infanta Doña Cristina, p. 28331, retrieved 28 November 2022
  4. ^ "Spain king's daughter moves to Switzerland amid corruption investigation". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  5. ^ Shahid, Sharnaz (24 January 2022). "King Felipe of Spain's sister Infanta Cristina announces separation from Iñaki Urdangarin". Hello!. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Judge targets Princess Cristina in Nóos corruption probe". El Pais. Archived from the original on 27 May 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  7. ^ "La Casa del Rey expresa su "sorpresa" ante el cambio de criterio del juez" (in Spanish). El Periodico de Catalunya. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Spanish princess Infanta Cristina summoned over fraud". BBC News. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina in court over corruption case". BBC News. 8 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina to face charges". BBC News. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Tax trial confirmed for Spain's Princess Cristina". BBC News. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  12. ^ Reuters (22 December 2014). "Spain's Princess Cristina to Stand Trial on Tax Fraud Charges". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2014. {{cite news}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  13. ^ Spanish king strips graft-accused sister of duchess title, retrieved 12 June 2015
  14. ^ Real Decreto 470/2015 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  15. ^[bare URL image file]
  16. ^[bare URL image file]
  17. ^[bare URL image file]
  18. ^[bare URL image file]
  19. ^ Garea, Fernando (2 June 2014). "La monarquía, en el peor momento de popularidad". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina on trial in fraud case". BBC News. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina stands trial on tax fraud charges". Reuters. 11 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Court rules tax fraud trial of Spain's Princess Cristina must go ahead". Reuters. 29 January 2016.
  23. ^ Agence France-Presse (3 March 2016). "Spain's Princess Cristina takes stand at her tax evasion trial". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  24. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina takes stand at fraud trial". BBC News. 3 March 2016.
  25. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina cleared in tax trial". BBC News. 17 February 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  26. ^ "El rey de España retira el título de duquesa a su hermana Cristina". 11 June 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  27. ^ Real Decreto 1191/1988 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  28. ^ Real Decreto 1978/1983 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  29. ^ Parliamentary question, page=1124
  30. ^ "El Rey recibe al presidente de Austria". El País (in Spanish). 3 June 1997. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  31. ^ "ABC MADRID 20-09-1994 página 23 - Archivo ABC". abc. 28 August 2019.
  32. ^ "Visita de Estado del Presidente del Ecuador a España". Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  33. ^ "Inicio - Castellano - Casa Real".
  34. ^ "ABC MADRID 11-03-1997 página 6 - Archivo ABC". abc. 29 August 2019.
  35. ^ "Don Juan Carlos recuerda que 'no hay espacio para los terroristas en nuestras sociedades libres'".
  36. ^ Úbeda-Portugués, José Escribano (2005). La dimensión europea de la política exterior española hacia América Latina: política internacional de los primeros gobiernos socialistas. Vision Libros. p. 303. ISBN 978-84-9983-085-8.
  37. ^ Icelandic Presidency Website[permanent dead link], Cristina, de Borbón ; prinsessa ; Spánn ; 1985-09-16 ; Stórkross (= Cristina of Bourbon, Princess, Spain, 16 September 1985, Grand Cross)
  38. ^ "ABC MADRID 08-10-1994 página 29 - Archivo ABC". abc. 27 August 2019.
  39. ^ "Visita Oficial del Rey Hussein de Jordania a España" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  40. ^ Orgambides, Fernando; Cembrero, Ignacio (25 January 1996). "El Rey sugiere a Ernesto Zedillo que consolide la democracia en México". El País – via
  41. ^ "ABC MADRID 09-10-1985 página 8 - Archivo ABC". abc. 16 August 2019.
  42. ^ "ABC MADRID 25-04-1995 página 24 - Archivo ABC". abc. 28 August 2019.
  43. ^ "La Familia Real recibe, de gala, al Presidente de Perú en el Palacio Real de Madrid". Hola USA. 6 July 2004. Archived from the original on 6 April 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  44. ^ Jauregui, Fernando (19 November 1987). "El rey Juan Carlos invita a Tailandia a participar en la Expo 92". El País – via

External links[edit]

Infanta Cristina of Spain
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty
Born: 13 June 1965
Lines of succession
Preceded by Line of succession to the Spanish Throne
6th in line
Succeeded by
Olympic Games
Preceded by Flagbearer for  Spain
Seoul 1988
Succeeded by