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Love and duty: Princess Cristina de Bourbon's choice


Spain

Love and duty: Princess Cristina de Bourbon's choice

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Cristina de Bourbon is a stubborn woman.

In her own words, she was born a princess, and she will die a princess.

Not even her father, Juan Carlos I, was able to force her to choose between her beloved husband, the jailed Iñaki Urdangarín, and her rights as a member of the Royal family, guaranteed by the Spanish consitution.

On her wedding day in 1997 bestowed upon her the title of Duchess of Palma.

But the fairytale would soon become a nightmare.

For richer, for poorer

Fifteen years later her beloved husband’s illicit business activities would drag her to a place no member of the royal family could imagine – in front of a judge.

When he arrived at court to face corruption charges, Urdangarín said: “I testify today to demonstrate my innocence, my honour and my professional activity.”

In April 2013, the scandal breaks. Headlines read: “Her highness accused” as Princess Christina is charged with complicity in the fraudulent activities of her husband.

Despite the advice of the anti-corruption prosecutor, the judge presiding over the case puts her in the dock to testify.

She moves to Switzerland with her children, but is called back in 2014, when she is charged with tax fraud and money laundering.

Behind closed doors

Urdangarín is granted the right to testify in private, without the presence of the media.

But the scandal rages.

The public is baying for blue blood.

The trial undermined the monarchy’s already badly-damaged image, prompting the royal family to hold the couple at arms length.

In spite of a series of reversals and appeals, the case was given the go ahead by Judge Jose Castro.

The Princess was charged with tax fraud and money laundering in January 2014 and appeared in court with a smile on her face a month later.

She denied any knowledge of her husband’s dodgy dealings, saying that he was in charge of the management of the business, and that she has full confidence in him.

The cost of loving

Fast forward to 2016, and the couple was still going strong.

By now, the Princess had been stripped of her Duchess title and Urdangarín’s family were no longer speaking to him.

However, it seems nothing can break the loving bond between the couple, and they arrived at court together.

But it comes at a cost.

After her fall from grace, Princess Cristina will lead a lonely existence.

Living in self-imposed exile in Switzerland and with her husband in prison, she will keep herself busy with bringing up her children, and awaiting the return of her beloved.

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