No Longer A Princess: Cristina Officially Stripped Of Royal Title [Video]

In a plan to increase his distance from his sister, King Felipe VI of Spain officially stripped Princess Cristina of her title as Duchess of Palma de Mallorca amid her tax fraud scandal. Cristina received the title in 1997 from her father. Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, who also faces several tax fraud charges, were seen publicly for the first time with the King in a year on Monday at a private mass held for a family friend.

Cristina and her husband have been avoided by the royal family since 2011. They have not been invited to any family functions as King Felipe tries to repair damage to his public image in the face of his sister’s trial, reports the Wall Street Journal. The king has worked to upgrade the royal family’s public image to appear less remote, and breaking with centuries of tradition, his eldest daughter recently took her first communion in a communal Roman Catholic Mass.

Fox News reports that Princess Cristina’s lawyer, Miquel Roca, claims the princess sent a letter to the king. In the letter, the princess wished to relinquish her title. Sources close to the palace said the king already made the decision to remove the princess’ official title before the letter arrived. He communicated his decision to his Cristina by phone late Thursday.

A spokesman for Spain’s royal household told reporters on Friday that King Felipe VI notified Cristina Thursday night of his decision to strip her of her ceremonial title. The spokesman did not provide a reason for the decision, which was first reported by the Spanish government news agency EFE, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The couple is expected to face trial later this year on several charges of fraud and tax evasion, reports Fox News. If she’s convicted, Princess Cristina faces up to four years in prison. Cristina’s husband is accused of abusing his title in order to embezzle over €6 million through a nonprofit foundation he and a business partner created.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the princess recently had to pay a $3 million bail — a price which even prosecutors thought was excessive. Cristina is the first royal family member to face trial since the Spanish monarchy was reinstated in 1975, and she might be the first to stand trial for tax fraud in Spain’s long history.

Although it remains unlikely she will ever sit on the throne and she’s no longer a princess, Cristina still remains sixth in line, and it’s a right only she can relinquish, although she faces increasing pressure to remove herself from the line of succession.

[Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images]

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