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Spanish King Felipe VI strips sister of duchess title over tax evasion charges

June 12 2015, 11:21

Image 0Spanish King Felipe VI formally stripped his sister Princess Cristina of her title as Duchess of Palma de Mallora over tax evasion charges she faces, the palace announced on 11 June.

"The Official Journal of the state will on 12 June 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.

According to the AFP, 49-year-old Cristina and her 47-year-old husband, former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin, are accused of participating in tax evasion. The charges have thrown the Spanish monarchy in a scandal, with the couple falling out of favour.

In December, a judge ruled that the royal must stand trial for the two counts of accessory to tax fraud, AFP reported. The princess would become the first member of the Spanish royal family to be made to stand trial. A trial date has not be schedule yet. According to El País, the trial could last anywhere between three to four months.

The royal couple married in an extravagant Barcelona ceremony in 1997 and were given the titles Duke and Duchess of Palma by her father, King Juan Carlos. Juan Carlos inexplicably abdicated the throne last year, passing on the Spanish crown to his son Felipe.

The AFP reported that Urdangarin and his former business partner Diego Torres are accused of making off with €6m ($6.6m, £4.3m) in public funds awarded to his charitable foundation Noos. However, Cristina's lawyers say the royal is innocent and that she trusted her husband in the handling of their financial assets.

The couple's mansion was impounded by the courts due to charges, AFP noted.

The corruption scandal has rocked the Spanish monarchy and turned many Spaniards against the royal family. The newly crowned king has worked to improve the family's image in light of his sister's alleged crime. The Spanish Infanta was even absent from her brother's ascension to the throne in June 2014.

Source: ibtimes.com On a photo: Cristina of Spain (left) and her brother King Felipe VI (AFP)

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