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Posted by Julie Day on June 28, 2014
Kings sister

While one of former King Juan Carlos’s children steps into his shoes to become the new king of Spain, another is about to be prosecuted for tax fraud and money laundering alongside her husband.

Cristina, who has recently had her title of ‘Infanta’ removed together with her royal family status, was once the most popular member of the royal family due to her down-to-earth and unpretentious nature.


She was the first female royal to graduate from university (political science) and in 1993 she even took a job working in La Caixa Bank earning just 1,200 euro a month. She is now also the first member of the Spanish royal family to be questioned about her dealing in a criminal case.

In 1996, she was introduced to her husband-to-be, Iñaki Urdangarin, an Olympic handball player to whom she announced her engagement the following year after a 9-month relationship.

Meeting him became her downfall and the reason why she will now stand trial in the infamous Nóos case.

What is the Nóos scandal?

So, Cristina and her husband Iñaki, the Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, are accused of not paying a hefty amount of tax and money laundering, along with about 14 other people, including Iñaki’s ex-business partner, Diego Torres, and his wife.

Basically, the Nóos Institute was a non-profit-making organisation headed by the two men. Cristina was on the board of directors. It is believed that Iñaki could not have acted without her knowledge of what was going on, which is why she has been implicated.

Apparently, Iñaki Urdangarin, used his royal status to clinch deals with several regional governments (mainly the Baleares and Valencia) to carry out various work and events through his non-profit-making company, the Nóos Institute.

However, while investigating a much larger scandal, the Palma arena case, anti-corruption investigators became alerted to the going on at the Nóos Institute.

Not only had the Nóos Institute been awarded public money for over-budgeted projects, but also for other work that had never been carried out.

It has been found that almost 6 million euro of public money went missing. Torres and Urdangarin allegedly siphoned off the money to other private companies and to offshore bank accounts in tax havens including the UK and Belize. One of the companies that received some of this money is Aizoon, which is jointly owned by Princess Cristina and her husband.

After almost 3 years of investigations, the judge in the Nóos case recently decided that Cristina will stand trial with her husband. He argues that ‘love and devotion’ are no excuses to go along with dishonest and criminal activities. She is also known to have enjoyed and spent large amounts of the ill-gotten gains.

Her loyalty and defiance in supporting her husband in this case is fundamentally what has cost her, her popularity and respect from the Spanish people.



  • Princess Cristina
  • Iñaki Urdangarin
  • Nóos scandal
  • Nóos Institute
  • Palma Arena
  • Diego Torres
  • tax fraud
  • money laundering
  • face trial


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