Spain's Princess Cristina stripped of title

King Felipe VI strips his sister of her title as Duchess of Palma de Mallorca as she awaits trial for tax fraud.

    Princess Cristina's brother, King Felipe VI, has said he wants to restore public trust in the monarchy [AP]
    Princess Cristina's brother, King Felipe VI, has said he wants to restore public trust in the monarchy [AP]

    Spain's King Felipe VI has stripped his sister Princess Cristina of her title as Duchess of Palma de Mallorca in the latest move to distance the royal family from the royal as she awaits trial for tax fraud.

    Cristina's lawyer, Miquel Roca, said the princess had sent a letter to the king asking for the title to be removed but the palace said the king had made the decision before the letter arrived and he communicated the decision to his sister by phone Thursday.

    Inside Story - What future for the monarchy in Spain?

    The princess has been indicted as part of a four-year probe into her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, who faces charges including money-laundering and fraud. Urdangarin automatically loses his title as duke at the same time.

    The couple's trial is expected late this year.

    Cristina is sixth in line of succession to the throne and calls have increased for her to renounce her princess title and rights to the throne so as to protect the image of the monarchy ahead of the trial. The couple has been sidelined from royal acts since 2011.

    The princess was given the title when she married Urdangarin in 1997.

    She is the first Spanish royal family member ordered to stand trial since the monarchy was restored in 1975. If convicted she could face up to four years in prison. Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball medalist turned businessman, faces a possible sentence of up to 19 years.


    RELATED: Reign in Spain - Can Felipe save the monarchy?


    Urdangarin is accused of using his title to embezzle about 6 million euros in public contracts through a nonprofit foundation he and a business partner set up.

    A further 15 people are charged in the case, one of several scandals to affect the royal family under former King Juan Carlos, who abdicated in favor of Felipe last year.

    On taking the throne, Felipe said he intended to restore public trust in the monarchy.

    SOURCE: AP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.