Infanta Cristina of Spain in court to stand trial on corruption charges

Mulenga Hornsby

King Felipe VI, arrived in a Mallorca court on Monday morning in the latest chapter of a long-running corruption case. The royal is on trial for tax fraud in proceedings that also involve 17 other people. One of these is her husband Iñaki Urdangarin who is charged with embezzlement, forging documents and money laundering.

Infanta Cristina is facing trial for tax fraud

Looking sombre, the couple made their way past scores of journalists from around the world. International attention has focused on the trial because this is the first time a member of the Spanish royal family has ever faced judicial proceedings.

In this week's preliminary session her lawyers are attempting to argue that the case should be dropped. The three judges on the panel have until 9 February to rule on their arguments.

The royal and her husband in happier times with her family

The accusations centre around the Noos Institute, an non-profit organisation for the promotion of sports and tourism founded by Iñaki, a towering former athlete who was once the captain of the national handball team.

Iñaki and his business partner are alleged to have diverted around €6.2 million from public contracts to organise sports events into private accounts. The king's sister sat on the board of a company named, Aizoon, that was allegedly used to channel some of these funds.

At a previous hearing the 50-year-old royal answered 'I don't know' to many of the questions or said that she trusted her husband to handle their financial affairs.

The couple at their glittering society wedding in 1997

Until 2011, Cristina and her husband lived a fairytale lifestyle as part of the country's high society – the title Infanta is given to someone born a princess rather one who has married into the family.

At their glittering 1997 wedding in Barcelona, the infanta was given away by her father King Juan Carlos who conferred on them the title of the Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca.

She went on to have four children with the dashing sportsman, who served as captain of the bronze-medal winning team at the 2000 Olympics.

Infanta Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarin with her father the former king in 2006

Since her brother ascended to the throne in June 2014, he has emphasised the monarchy's transparency. The sovereign issued a decree stripping his sister of the title of Duchess of Palma.

King Felipe and his wife Queen Letizia are widely regarded as a hard working and down-to-earth couple, who are seen on the school run with their daughters and dining quietly in trendy areas of town.

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