King Felipe Of Spain Revokes Sister’s Duchess Title Amid Tax Evasion Charges

By @chelean on
Spain's Royal Family
IN PHOTO: Members of Spain's Royal Family (L-R) Infanta Elena, Infanta Cristina, Crown Prince Felipe, Queen Sofia, Princess Letizia and (front L-R) Infanta Leonor and Infanta Sofia pose for photographers after attending an Easter mass at the cathedral in Palma de Mallorca on the island of Mallorca, April 24, 2011. REUTERS/Enrique Calvo

King Felipe VI of Spain has stripped his older sister of her title as the Duchess of Palma de Mallorca. Infanta Cristina, who is facing trial on tax evasion charges, is “in complete agreement” with her brother’s decision to revoke her title.

“The Official Journal of the state will tomorrow (Friday) publish a royal decree by which His Majesty the King will revoke the use of the title of Duchess of Palma de Mallorca by Her Royal Highness the Infanta Cristina,” the palace said in a statement quoted by the AFP.

Cristina’s lawyer said she agrees with the king’s decision. She also communicated her desire to give up her title voluntarily prior to the announcement.

The 49-year-old royal, the second child of former King and Queen of Spain, Juan Carlos and Sofia, is accused of plotting with her husband Iñaki Urdangarin in a tax evasion scheme. A judge ruled that she would be tried on two counts of being an accomplice to tax fraud in December. Her trial date has not been set yet.

She is the first member of the Spanish royal family to be tried in an open court. She could face up to six years in prison if proven guilty.

Her 47-year-old husband, a former Olympic handball player, is accused, along with a former business partner, of exploiting his royal connections to embezzle six million euros [$8.7 million] in public funds from contracts awarded to charitable foundation Noos Institute. He and his wife have denied any wrongdoings, with Cristina claiming she trusted Urdangarin to handle her financial affairs. He also lost his ducal title, which was conferred to him by the former King Juan Carlos when he married Cristina in a lavish ceremony in 1997.

The couple have four children together. Cristina was noticeably absent at her brother’s ascension to the throne in June 2014 when their father abdicated.

Contact the writer: a.lu@ibtimes.com.au