Infanta Cristina of Spain

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Infanta Cristina
Ex-Duchess de Palma de Mallorca
Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca.jpg
Infanta Cristina at the GAVI Alliance conference in London, 13 June 2011
Born (1965-06-13) 13 June 1965 (age 50)
Madrid, Spain
Spouse Iñaki Urdangarín (m. 1997)
Issue Juan Urdangarín y de Borbón
Pablo Urdangarín y de Borbón
Miguel Urdangarín y de Borbón
Irene Urdangarín y de Borbón
Full name
Cristina Federica Victoria Antonia de Borbón y de Grecia
House Bourbon
Father Juan Carlos I of Spain
Mother Sophia of Greece and Denmark
Religion Roman Catholic
Royal styles of
Cristina de Borbon
Arms of Spain.svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am

Infanta Cristina of Spain (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 and Queen Sofía of Spain. As of 2015 she is fifth in the line of succession to the Spanish throne, after her brother King Felipe VI's children, her sister Elena, and Elena's children.


Cristina de Borbón was born 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 of Spain (great-aunt).


The Infanta 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.

She speaks fluent Spanish, Catalan, English and Greek.

Marriage and children[edit]

The Infanta married team handball player Iñaki Urdangarín in Barcelona on 4 October 1997, at which time her father, King Juan Carlos, created her Duchess of Palma de Mallorca for life;[1] by Spanish custom, her husband, Iñaki Urdangarín became styled Duke of Palma de Mallorca. However, as of June 12, 2015, King Felipe VI attainted the dukedom of Palma de Mallorca, thus depriving her (and thereby, her husband) of the ducal title.[2]

The couple have four children, all born in Barcelona:

  • Don Juan Urdangarín y de Borbón, born 29 September 1999.
  • Don Pablo Urdangarín y de Borbón, born 6 December 2000.
  • Don Miguel Urdangarín y de Borbón, born 30 April 2002.
  • Doña Irene Urdangarín y de Borbón, 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 is the subject of an embezzlement investigation, remained in Barcelona.[3]

Activities in Spain and abroad[edit]

Letterhead of Infanta Cristina as Duchess of Palma (1997-2015).

She carries out many institutional, cultural, academic and welfare activities in Spain and abroad, especially in European and Latin American countries.

As Honorary President of the Spanish Committee of UNESCO, she has maintained her links with this international organization and with several of its projects, especially educational ones, with a focus on activities to protect the natural and artistic heritage. In October 2001, she was appointed Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations for the 2nd World Assembly on Ageing. She is also a member of the Dali Foundation Board of Trustees.

She supports a number of welfare bodies and participates personally in courses on adapted sailing for disabled people. She is the President of the International Foundation for Disabled Sailing.

She's also been a member of the Bilderberg Group since 2001, with her parents.

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] The Infanta made her first appearance in the Majorca Court on 8 February 2014, where she denied any knowledge of her husband's dealings.[7]

Spanish judge Jose Castro formalised charges against Infanta Cristina on 25 June 2014 resulting in the possibility that she could face trial, with up to 11 years in jail if found guilty. An appeal was lodged against the decision.[8] 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 maintain that they remain completely convinced of her innocence.[9] On December 22, 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".[10]

On 12 June 2015, King Felipe VI officially deprived his sister of her dukedom, privately announcing his intention beforehand.[11][12] In response to their meeting in person, on 12 June Infanta Cristina wrote to the king (her brother) requesting the forfeiture of her noble titles, immediately following which a Royal Decree was issued accordingly.[13][14][15][16] Nonetheless, these corruption allegations have severely dented the Spanish Royal Family's popularity in Spain and elsewhere; according to El País between 1995 and 2013 the Spanish monarchy's approval rating dropped from 7.5 to 3.68 on a scale of 10 amongst Spaniards. The Spanish media also attribute, in no small part, King Juan Carlos' abdication to these ongoing proceedings.[17]

Sports and participation in the Olympics[edit]

She practices a number of sports including skiing, but her favorite is sailing. She has taken part in many national and international events and was a member of the Spanish Olympic sailing team at the Seoul Games in 1988 where she was standard bearer in the opening parade.

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]


  • 13 June 1965 – 26 September 1997: Her Royal Highness the Infanta Doña Cristina of Spain.[18]
  • 26 September 1997 – 11 June 2015: Her Royal Highness the Infanta Doña Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca
  • 11 June 2015 – present: Her Royal Highness the Infanta Doña Cristina of Spain.[19]

The Infanta's style and title in full: Su Alteza Real Doña Cristina Federica Victoria Antonia de la Santísima Trinidad de Borbón y Grecia, Infanta de España (Her Royal Highness Doña Cristina Federica Victoria Antonia de la Santísima Trinidad de Borbón y Grecia, Infanta of Spain).


See also List of honours of the Spanish Royal Family by country

National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


Arms of Infanta Cristina of Spain
Coat of arms of Infanta Cristina of Spain.svg
Infanta Cristina's personal coat of arms are the Arms of the Monarch in right of Spain, differenced by a Label.
A Coronet for Infantes of Spain
Quarterly 1st Gules a Castle Or triple-embattled and voided gate and windows with three Towers each triple-turreted of the Field masoned Sable and ajoure Azure, 2nd Argent a Lion rampant Purpure crowned langued and armed Or, 3rd Or four Pallets Gules, and 4th Gules a Cross saltire and Orle of chains linked together Or a centre point Vert
Argent enté en pointe with a Pomegranate Proper seeded Gules supported sculpted and leafed in two Leaves Vert;
on an inescutcheon Azure bordure Gules three Fleurs-de-lys Or.
Order of Charles III Grand Cross ribbon.
Other elements
The whole differenced by a Label of three points Azure the central point charged with a Cross Argent
Personal Standard of Infanta Cristina of Spain.svg Infanta Cristina's personal Royal Standard is that of the Spanish Monarch:
a crimson square flag with a swallow-tail charged with her personalized coat of arms.[46]
As with the Royal Arms of Spain: the first quarter is the Arms of Castile, the second of León, the third of Aragon and the fourth of Navarre, enté en pointe the Arms of Granada and on an escutcheon of pretence for Bourbon-Anjou.

The Cross Argent, as used prior to the attainder of her dukedom, represented her mother's family: the former Kings of Greece.[47][48]

Previous versions
Coat of arms of Infanta Cristina of Spain (1997-2015).svg From 1997 to 2015


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Real Decreto 1502/1997
  2. ^ País, Ediciones. "El Rey revoca el título de duquesa de Palma a su hermana Cristina". Retrieved 2015-06-11. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Judge targets Princess Cristina in Nóos corruption probe". El Pais. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  5. ^ "La Casa del Rey expresa su "sorpresa" ante el cambio de criterio del juez" (in Spanish). El Periodico de Catalunya. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  6. ^ "Spanish princess Infanta Cristina summoned over fraud". BBC News. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Spain's Princess Cristina in court over corruption case". BBC News. 8 February 2014. 
  8. ^ BBC News (25 June 2014). "Spain's Princess Cristina to face charges" Retrieved 25 June 2014
  9. ^ "Tax trial confirmed for Spain's Princess Cristina". BBC News. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Reuters (22 December 2014). "Spain's Princess Cristina to Stand Trial on Tax Fraud Charges". New York Times (The New York Times). Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Spanish king strips sister, retrieved June 12, 2015
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  19. ^ (Spanish) The King revokes the title of Duchess of Palma use by his sister doña Cristina, Europapress (15-06-11) (Acceded on 12 June 2015)
  20. ^ Parliamentary question, page=1124
  21. ^ Visita de Estado del Presidente de Austria a España
  22. ^ Foro Dinastías, State visit of Belgium in Spain, 1994,
  23. ^ Hemeroteca ABC
  24. ^ Visita de Estado del Presidente del Ecuador a España
  25. ^ Foro Dinastías, State visit of Egypt in Spain
  26. ^ Visita de Estado del Presidente de Egipto a España
  27. ^ Foro Dinastías
  28. ^ Visita de Estado del Presidente de El Salvador a España
  29. ^ Foro Dinastías, State visit of Stephanopoulos in Spain, 2001, Group Photo
  30. ^ Visita de Estado del Presidente de Grecia a España
  31. ^ "At the Spanish Court" blog, State dinner in the Royal Palace (1st State dinner for Cristina).
  32. ^ "La dimensión europea de la política exterior española hacia América latina". Escrito por José Escribano Úbeda-Portugués
  33. ^ Icelandese Presidency Website , Cristina, de Borbón ; prinsessa ; Spánn ; 1985-09-16 ; Stórkross (= Cristina of Bourbon, Princess, Spain, 16 September 1985, Grand Cross)
  34. ^ Hemeroteca ABC
  35. ^ State visit of Jordan in Spain (1985), Photo of Infanta Cristina wearing the order
  36. ^ Visita Oficial del Rey Hussein de Jordania a España
  37. ^ El Presidente de México de Visita Oficial en España
  38. ^ El Besamanos
  39. ^ Foro Dinastías State visit of Nepal in Spain, 1983
  40. ^ Hemeroteca ABC
  41. ^ Visita de Estado de los Reyes de Noruega a España
  42. ^ Visita de Estado del Presidente de Perú a España
  43. ^
  44. ^ Foro Dinastías, State visit in Thailand,
  45. ^ Visita de Estado de los Reyes de España a Tailandia
  46. ^ (Spanish) Royal Cadency of Spain-Standards. Blog de Heráldica – 1 November 2010. (Retrieved 10 October 2012)
  47. ^ a b "Cadency of the Spanish Royal House" (in Spanish). José Juan Carrión Rangel, Blog de heráldica. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  48. ^ a b Proyecto Galicia : Serie de Heráldica Genealogía y Nobiliaria. T. V (LVIII). La Coruña: Hércules de Ediciones, 2011. ISBN 978-84-92715-31-2. P. 529.

External links[edit]

Infanta Cristina of Spain
Born: 13 June 1965
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Victoria Federica de Marichalar
Line of succession to the Spanish Throne
6th position
Succeeded by
Juan Valentín Urdangarín
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Alejandro Abascal
Flagbearer for  Spain
Seoul 1988
Succeeded by
Felipe, Prince of Asturias