11-06-2015Ballesteros

King Felipe has published a Royal Decree, signed by himself and the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, which formally removes the title of Duchess of Palma from his sister, Princess Cristina. The decree, which does not state a reason, simply refers to the title being revoked, and with its publication, the princess’s husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, also loses his right to the title of Duke of Palma.
Though the king doesn’t give a reason, it is clear what the circumstances are surrounding the decision: the appearance of the princess in a Palma court on charges related to the so-called “caso Noos” and the allegations of fraud and money laundering (among others) levelled at her husband, who was once a director of the Noos Institute.
But the announcement of the king’s decision has already produced controversy.  The newspaper La Vanguardia has published a handwritten letter sent by the princess to the king in which she says that she has decided to give up the title. It has the date of 1 June and was signed in Geneva on that day.
The royal household insists that the letter was not received until after the king had issued his decree and had informed his sister by telephone. The royal household is therefore maintaining that the decision to revoke the title was the king’s and the king’s alone.
In her letter, the princess speaks of the satisfaction that she and her husband have had in representing Palma - the former king, Juan Carlos, gave her the title in 1997 (and she has intimated in her letter that the former king should now have the title of Duke of Palma). She also speaks of the loyalty they have shown the city and their affection for it.
“After long and painful reflection,” she says, she has concluded that the title should be given up in order to avoid any further controversy. She will always be grateful for the affection shown to her and her family by the people of Palma, and the letter concludes by asking the king to take the necessary measures to remove her title and by expressing her love for him.
The letter also makes clear that she considers the charges levelled at her personally to be unfounded. It needs reminding that the state prosecutor does not believe that she has a case to answer. The prosecution against her doesn’t come from the state but rather from Manos Limpias, an organisation described as a union which has regularly sought prosecution cases for alleged corruption.

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