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; div. 2023)
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 Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, and Elena's children.

On 26 September 1997, on the occasion of her marriage to handball player Iñaki Urdangarin, she was created Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, by her father, King Juan Carlos. From 2013 to 2017, she was investigated for possible corruption involving a company owned by Cristina and her husband. In 2015, her brother stripped her of her royal dukedom. In 2017 she was acquitted of all charges.

Cristina represented the Crown during the reign of her father. Since October 2011, she has remained apart from the royal family and any official act of the Crown and, since 2014, she is no longer a member of the royal family.

Early life[edit]

Infanta Cristina with her younger brother, Felipe, in 1969.

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 (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.[2] In 2001, she was named United Nations goodwill ambassador United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the 2nd World Assembly on Aging.[3]

She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, French, and Greek.[4]

Marriage and children[edit]

Cristina married team handball player Iñaki Urdangarin at Barcelona Cathedral on 4 October 1997. On this occasion, she was created Duchess of Palma de Mallorca for life.[5] The couple have four children, all born at Teknon Medical Centre in Barcelona:

  • Juan Valentín Urdangarin y Borbón, Grandee of Spain (born 29 September 1999),
  • Pablo Nicolás Sebastián Urdangarin y de Borbón, Grandee of Spain (born 6 December 2000),
  • Miguel Urdangarin y Borbón, Grandee of Spain (born 30 April 2002),
  • Irene Urdangarin y Borbón, Grandee of Spain (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.[6]

On 24 January 2022, Cristina and Urdangarin announced their separation.[7] The couple divorced in December 2023.[8]

Activities and personal work[edit]

Cristina started to attend official events at very young age. One of the first official events she attended was the proclamation of her father in November 1975.[9] Since finishing her most basic education in 1983, Cristina, along with her sister Elena, supported their parents representing the Crown at official events such as the National Day, the wedding of Princess Astrid of Belgium,[10] the re-burial of Queen Victoria Eugenia at El Escorial,[11] and the state visit of Mexican president Miguel de la Madrid to Spain,[10] among others.

After the corruption scandal of her husband, the Duchess and her husband distanced from the royal family, being their last official event as members of the royal family on 12 October 2011.[12] After the ascension of her brother in June 2014, she formally left the royal family.

Regarding her personal work, Cristina has been working for La Caixa Foundation since October 1993.[13] At the same time, she works for the Aga Khan Foundation.[14] She visits Barcelona often for work, but she has lived in Geneva, Switzerland since 2013.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] The infanta made her first appearance in the Majorca Court on 8 February 2014, where she denied any knowledge of her husband's dealings.[19]

Spanish judge Jose Castro formalised charges against Infanta Cristina on 25 June 2014.[20] 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.[21] 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".[22]

On 12 June 2015, King Felipe VI officially deprived his sister of her dukedom, privately announcing his intention beforehand.[23][24] After this decision was made public, Cristina's lawyer, Miquel Roca, declared that the king's decision followed a formal request from the infanta,[25] although the Royal Household denied it, saying that her renunciation to the title was after the king's private phone call to communicate her the decision.[26] 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 de Mallorca.[27] The charges were filed by the 'Clean Hands' anti-graft organisation using a Spanish legal instrument known as the 'people's accusation'.[28] 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.[29] She took the stand in March 2016, denying being an accessory to tax evasion, and denying knowledge of her husband's activities.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32]

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, The Duchess of Palma de Mallorca[33]
  • 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. ^ "EL MUNDO | LOS REYES VUELVEN A SER ABUELOS". Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  3. ^ EFE (5 October 2001). "LA EMBAJADORA CRISTINA DE BORBÓN". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  4. ^ Oliver Fohrmann. "La Familia Real Española hoy y ayer". Universität Heidelberg. Archived from the original on 16 December 2003.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ "Spain king's daughter moves to Switzerland amid corruption investigation". The Telegraph. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  7. ^ Shahid, Sharnaz (24 January 2022). "King Felipe of Spain's sister Infanta Cristina announces separation from Iñaki Urdangarin". Hello!. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  8. ^ "La infanta Cristina e Iñaki Urdangarin firman su divorcio en secreto". HOLA (in Spanish). 24 January 2024. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
  9. ^ "Así fue la proclamación de Juan Carlos I". Lecturas (in Spanish). 17 June 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  10. ^ a b "El camino marcado por las infantas Elena y Cristina que podría seguir Sofía tras la marcha de Leonor". Vanity Fair (in European Spanish). 13 February 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  11. ^ Orgambides, Fernando (26 April 1985). "Los restos mortales de la reina Victoria Eugenia, depositados en el monasterio de El Escorial". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  12. ^ 20minutos (17 February 2017). "El alejamiento de la casa real de los Borbón Urdangarin: de los salones de palacio al ostracismo". - Últimas Noticias (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 October 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "La cotidiana vida de la infanta Cristina y su trabajo en Barcelona". El País (in Spanish). 7 December 1993. ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  14. ^ "La infanta Cristina, en la celebración del 25º aniversario del Programa de Cooperación Internación de la Fundación La Caixa". Vanity Fair (in European Spanish). 2 July 2022. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  15. ^ Junquera, Natalia (31 July 2013). "La Infanta se muda a Suiza con sus hijos y Urdangarin se queda en Barcelona". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  16. ^ "Judge targets Princess Cristina in Nóos corruption probe". El Pais. Archived from the original on 27 May 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  17. ^ "La Casa del Rey expresa su "sorpresa" ante el cambio de criterio del juez" (in Spanish). El Periodico de Catalunya. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  18. ^ "Spanish princess Infanta Cristina summoned over fraud". BBC News. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina in court over corruption case". BBC News. 8 February 2014.
  20. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina to face charges". BBC News. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Tax trial confirmed for Spain's Princess Cristina". BBC News. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina to Stand Trial on Tax Fraud Charges". The New York Times. Reuters. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  23. ^ Spanish king strips graft-accused sister of duchess title, retrieved 12 June 2015
  24. ^ Real Decreto 470/2015 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  25. ^ "La Infanta afirma que fue ella quien renunció por carta al ducado de Palma pero Zarzuela lo niega". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). 12 June 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  26. ^ AGENCIAS, RTVE es/ (12 June 2015). "Zarzuela asegura que la renuncia de la infanta fue posterior a la llamada del rey". (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  27. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina on trial in fraud case". BBC News. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  28. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina stands trial on tax fraud charges". Reuters. 11 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Court rules tax fraud trial of Spain's Princess Cristina must go ahead". Reuters. 29 January 2016.
  30. ^ Agence France-Presse (3 March 2016). "Spain's Princess Cristina takes stand at her tax evasion trial". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  31. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina takes stand at fraud trial". BBC News. 3 March 2016.
  32. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina cleared in tax trial". BBC News. 17 February 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  33. ^ "El rey de España retira el título de duquesa a su hermana Cristina". 11 June 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  34. ^ Real Decreto 1191/1988 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  35. ^ Real Decreto 1978/1983 Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE)
  36. ^ Bohórquez, Lucía (15 June 2018). "Baleares retira la Medalla de Oro de la Comunidad a Urdangarin". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 15 October 2023.
  37. ^ Pastor, Maria José (30 October 1998). "La infanta Cristina apoya en Elche que el Misteri y el palmeral sean patrimonio de la humanidad". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 15 October 2023.
  38. ^ Parliamentary question, page=1124
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  46. ^ 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)
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  53. ^ 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