The Infanta Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarin have decided “by mutual agreement, to interrupt their marriage relationship” after the link between the former Duke of Palma and another woman became known, according to both in a statement sent to EFE.
“By mutual agreement, we have decided to end our marriage relationship. The commitment to our children remains intact. Since it is a private decision, we ask for the utmost respect from all those around us. Cristina de Borbón and Iñaki Urdangarin”, says the text of the brief statement in which they formalize their decision.
The announcement of their separation comes after a photograph published last Wednesday in the magazine readings in which Urdangarin is seen walking hand in hand with Ainhoa Armentia, co-worker at a law firm in Vitoria (Basque Country).
The photos, according to the magazine, were taken on January 11 in the Basque-French town of Bidart, where the Urdangarin family spends the summers. It does not seem that the husband of the infanta Cristina wants to hide since the image was taken in a public place frequented by his wife and children and the press. Although it has surprised many, this very morning his son Pablo Urdangarin was answering questions from a journalist from Europe Press removing drama from the matter and completely normalizing the situation.
Before questions from the press, Urdangarin confirmed his relationship with Armentia last week.
Infanta Cristina, 56, and Urdangarin, a 54-year-old former handball player, They got married in 1997. The former partner has four children: Juan, Pablo, Miguel and Irene.
A history of scandals, exile and infidelities
Urdangarin was never welcome in the Bourbon family, as reported by the newspaper The world. In fact, the emeritus king Juan Carlos I wanted to prevent the marriage at all costs after receiving worrying information that he was living with his girlfriend at the time, Carmen Camí, when he was trying to conquer the infanta. He contacted friendly journalists, including the late Pepe Oneto, to design a dissuasive media campaign, as he did later to prevent his son Felipe’s engagement with Eva Sannum. But he failed due to the indiscretion of his sister, the Infanta Pilar, who fell into the trap of some journalists, publicly confirming the relationship.
Despite the turbulent start, the infanta has shown during all these years an enormous loyalty to her future ex-husband, whom she did not want to leave aside (and refused to divorce) despite her sentenced to five years and ten months in prison for the Nóos case. In 2008, Urdangarin was found guilty of prevarication, embezzlement, fraud and influence peddling, in a corruption scandal that marked a before and after in the public consideration of the Spanish royal family, broadened the focus towards the economic and sentimental activity of King Emeritus Juan Carlos and gave rise to a reconsideration of the need for transparency that the legislature must require the Crown.
In addition, it was the origin of the definitive separation within the Bourbon family; King Felipe VI stripped his sister Cristina of the title of Duchess of Palma, but would later end up expelling sisters, brothers-in-law and nephews from the protective umbrella of the royal family.
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ANSA and AFP agencies
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The infanta Cristina and Urdangarin, a story of scandals, exile and infidelity