The marriage is broken. There seems to be no turning back. The face of the eldest son of the Infanta Cristina, Pablo, was, on Wednesday, a poem. The cold reaction of the Infanta Elena, Cristina’s sister, a clue. Everything that transcends the environment of the Royal House indicates sadness and indignation. Maybe in reverse order. Nothing more forceful, however, than the words of the protagonist of this story: Iñaki Urdangarin himself has today confirmed the marital crisis with the daughter of the King Emeritus and, by derivation, he has implied that yes, he maintains a relationship with another woman: “We are going to manage it in the best possible way”.
The publication of some photos of Urdangarin -brother-in-law of Felipe VI, son-in-law of Juan Carlos I- walking hand in hand along the beaches of Bidart with Ainhoa Armentia have shaken Spain. The Monarchy again in question. The Royal Family again in the spotlight. The images, exclusive to the magazine readingsyesterday unleashed a river of analysis and speculation. Everything indicates that Urdangarin and Cristina de Borbón have not lived together since he was released from prison in January 2020. Perhaps they hide their crisis by being seen together from time to time -in Barcelona last November- or celebrating the last Christmas in the family home of the former handball player.
By order. Cristina de Borbón and Iñaki Urdangarin they got married in 1997. When the romance began, months ago, he was a star of the Spanish handball team that had won a medal at the Atlanta Olympics. Then, he had been dating another young woman for years. They already had a wedding date and had even gone to try the menu for the wedding celebration.
However, he broke off the relationship and opted for the Infanta. After the wedding, the athlete became the exemplary husband. Faced with the obvious failure of the relationship between the Infanta Elena and Jaime de Marichalar, who ended up divorcing in 2007, that of Cristina and Iñaki, Dukes of Palma through the work and grace of King Juan Carlos I, has always been an ‘exemplary’ marriage .
In 2011, when Urdangarin was charged in the Nóos Case -political corruption case in which the protagonists were accused of fraud, embezzlement, money laundering…- everything began to falter. Cristina de Borbón stayed by her husband’s side. They both left the country. They took refuge mainly in Switzerland. With his four children. She is still there. He was removed in December 2012 from the acts of the Palacio de la Zarzuela, which considered his behavior “not very exemplary”.
The marriage resisted. Even she had to sit, in 2014, on the bench. I did not know anything. She was exonerated from any responsibility in her husband’s business. In the process, emails from Urdangarin with other women came to light, some with crude expressions: he signed as “El Duque Empalmado”, in clear sexual references and his dukedom of Palma. In the end, in 2018, he was sentenced to five years in prison. She entered the women’s prison in Brieva (Ávila) and in January 2020 she obtained the third degree. Since June 2021 he does not have to sleep in the prison.
Along the way, he has lost the dukedom and all the favor of his political parents: Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía.
Now, after revealing the photos, it has transpired that since then he has lived in Vitoria (capital of the Basque province of Álava). Among other things, he takes care of his mother. And he has been working, since March of two years, at the Imaz&Asociados law firm. That’s where he met Ainhoa Armentia, the woman he was walking around Bidart with. On the same beach where he has spent the last summers with Cristina, his wife, and their children.
Urdangarin has spoken. He has confirmed his relationship with Armentia. “We are going to manage it in the best possible way. It is a difficulty that we will manage with the utmost calm and period, as we have always done”, has responded to journalists.
Will there be a divorce?, he has been asked: “I have nothing more to say. Thanks a lot. Hello”.
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Urdangarin, husband of the Infanta Cristina, after her photos with another woman: “We are going to manage it in the best possible way”