30 December 2015

Spanish Royal Ladies of 2015

Without question, the Spanish royal family was the most troubled royal family in 2015 and their angst, which has already lasted years, will certainly continue into 2016. After many years of investigation and court proceedings related to her husband's business dealings, criminal charges were filed against Infanta Cristina in summer 2014 and held up by higher courts last December. In 2015, the ongoing negative publicity led the King to deprive his sister of her title as Duchess of Palma de Mallorca in June of 2015; as yet, she still retains her rank as Infanta of Spain. The case will finally proceed to trial in two weeks and could last as long as six months. Meanwhile, Queen Letizia has once again been subjected to media innuendo that she is too thin and her grandfather passed away in July. In happier news, the King's mother, Queen Emerita Sofia, was one of 273 people nominated for the 2015 Nobel Prize for her work with Alzheimer's disease. She didn't win that one, but she did receive the 2015 Hadrian Award from the World Monuments Foundation for her promotion of the culture of Spain and Ibero-America. In even better news, King Felipe and Queen Letizia have made great strides in rescuing the Spanish throne from the abyss it was facing when his father was more or less forced to abdicate a year and a half ago. Felipe's approval rating now sits comfortably above the 80 percent mark.

A sign of better days ahead? Queen Letizia finally wore a tiara that was rumored to have been given to her shortly after her 2004 wedding. Most royal observers believe it had been closeted for so long to avoid accusations of privilege during Spain's long economic downturn.

Born a Princess of Greece, Queen Sofia has retained her regal bearing since her husband's abdication in 2014, but her favorite title is undoubtedly Grandmother. Here she is on holiday with five of her eight grandchildren.

Leonor Princess of Asturias (holding her daddy's hand) and little sister Infanta Sofia have been seen more in public in 2015, including at the National Day Military Parade.

The King's oldest sister Infanta Elena has not been seen officially as much recently, but she was spotted riding horses with her daughter Dona Victoria Frederica de Marichalar in October.

The indicted Infanta Cristina faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted in the trial that opens in mid-January; her husband faces more charges and more possible prison time.

The King's youngest aunt, Infanta Margarita, attended the funeral of Bulgarian Prince Kardam, who had been in a coma for five years following a car accident. The Bulgarian royal family has been based primarily in Spain since their exile nearly 70 years ago with ex-King Simeon and all five of his children marrying Spaniards.

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