King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain have reacted with surprise after their daughter, Princess Cristina, was charged with being an accomplice in an embezzlement case against her husband.
Inaki Urdangarin has been charged with fraud and tax evasion.
It is alleged that he was involved in the siphoning off of millions of euros of public money from regional government contracts into a non-profit making organisation he headed from 2004 to 2006.
The case has angered a country struggling with deep recession.
Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the Socialist opposition leader, said: “The Socialist Party asks for respect. We respect the decision of Judge Castro, because in Spain the law is the same for everyone”.
The princess must appear before Judge Jose Castro on April 27 on complicity charges in a pre-trial investigation.
The royal family has tried hard to distance itself from Urdangarin. He has been banned from royal events and photographs of him have been removed from the official website.
Urdangarin denies any wrongdoing.
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