A judge in the Spanish resort of Palma de Mallorca has summoned King Juan Carlos’ daughter, Princess Christina, for an investigation into fraud. She is to appear in court on March 8, the first time that a member of the royal family will be deposing before a judge.

Christina, 48, the middle child of three Spanish royal children, is implicated in a complex investigation of corruption, embezzlement and fraud, where one of the principal accused is her husband Iñaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball champion-turned-businessman. He floated a charity that received millions of euros of public funds and is alleged to have embezzled over 6 million euros. His wife was a partner in an undertaking called the Noos Institute.

This is a distinct reversal of fortune for the King who has just turned 76. This latest incident has further damaged the already battered image of the Spanish monarchy. Over 60 per cent of Spaniards regularly say they want King Juan Carlos to abdicate in favour of his son Prince Felipe.

Judge Jose Castro of the court in Mallorca in the Balearic Islands has stubbornly refused to give up. His attempts to summon the princess in April last year were foiled by the provincial court.

The fresh summons are being seen as a defeat for the monarchy which allegedly tried to quash an appearance by the princess by pressuring the provincial judiciary.

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