MADRID: The sister of Spanish King Felipe VI, Princess Cristina and her husband, will go on trial Monday for corruption in a high stakes case likely to further damage the monarchy’s image.
The highly anticipated trial of the royal couple and 16 other accused will run until June at a court in Palma, on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, where the Spanish royal family has a seaside holiday home.
Cristina, 50, will be the first direct member of the royal family facing criminal charges since the monarchy was reinstated following the death of dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975.
The case is centred on the shady business deals of the Noos Institute, a charitable organisation based in Palma which her husband, former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin, chaired from 2004 to 2006.
As a result of their indictment, last year, King Felipe VI, who took over from his father Juan Carlos in June 2014, stripped Cristina and her husband of their title as Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, in a bid to undo damage to the monarchy’s image ahead of the trial.
Juan Carlos had given the couple the title when they married in 1997 in a lavish ceremony at the height of the popularity of the Spanish royals.