Spanish monarch’s sister and husband split after 25 years

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MADRID – The sister of Spain’s King Felipe VI, Cristina de Borbón, and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, announce the end of their marriage after nearly 25 years together, Spanish national news agency EFE reported on Monday, quoting a statement of the couple.

The announcement came a week after a gossip magazine in Spain published photos of Urdangarin strolling through a coastal town in southern France while holding hands with a work colleague.

In their statement to EFE, the couple asked for “respect” for a private decision “to end our marital relationship by mutual agreement”. They added that their commitment to their four children remains “intact”, the agency said.

Urdangarin, a 54-year-old former Olympic handball medalist, was convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2018. He served part of his five-year, 10-month sentence until early last year in a prison in northern Spain before the judges allowed it. to exchange it for community work.

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Due to the corruption scandal, the couple were stripped of their aristocratic titles and removed from the Royal House payroll.

The legal process, which also saw Cristina interrogated and fined as the beneficiary of her husband’s crimes, contributed to the erosion of the royal family’s image, ultimately leading to the abdication of Juan Carlos I , who passed the throne to his son, Felipe, in 2014.

Cristina, 56, now lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

The couple married in October 1997 in a lavish ceremony in Barcelona.

Urdangarin was questioned last week over photos published by Lecturas, a celebrity-focused magazine, as he went to work at a consultancy firm in the northern Basque town of Vitoria.

“Things happen,” he replied.

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