The Royal 2017: Spain's royals in the dock

One day, maybe, we'll get to write about a Spanish royal year and not use the words ''tough'', ''controversial'' and ''beleaguered''. But not this year. The past twelve months have been both tough and controversial for the beleaugured royal family. And that's with the end that 2017 brought of a problem that has hounded them for years. The Royal 2017 looks back at Spain's royals in the dock....

The investigation into and then trial of Infanta Cristina, older sister of King Felipe VI, for tax evasion had haunted Spain's royals for years. On February 17th 2017, she was acquitted but ordered to pay a fine of 265, 000 euros. Her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to six years. He is currently on bail while he appeals that decision.

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The Royal Household said little following the end of the trial. A brief statement commented on the ''total respect for the independence of the judiciary'' but went no further. King Felipe was once very close to his sister, who is sixth in line to the Spanish throne, but they are rarely seen together now. However, on May 12th 2017, their public paths crossed when Cristina unexpectedly attended the requiem mass for Infanta Alicia of Spain, an aunt of their father, King Juan Carlos I. King Felipe and Queen Letizia walked past Cristina without exchanging glances although it seemed at one point, later, that the Spanish monarch smiled briefly at his sister. The end of the trial closed a chapter that had done a lot to damage the popularity of Spain's Royal Family but it didn't end its woes. More on Felipe's difficult year in the days to come as we continue the Royal 2017.


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