Princess Cristina of Spain, sister to the current king, arrived at court today to face charges of tax fraud.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the high-profile case:

The king’s 50-year-old sister—the first sibling of a Spanish monarch to ever be tried, according to historians—faces up to eight years in jail if convicted. Her husband, Iñaki Urdangarín, 47, an Olympic handball medalist turned businessman, could be sentenced to up to a 19 years on a wider array of charges, including embezzlement of public funds, money laundering, falsifying private contracts and influence peddling.

According to the AP, Cristina herself is on the hook for two counts of tax fraud for “allegedly failing to declare taxes on personal expenses paid by a real estate company she owned with Urdangarin.”

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There are numerous others facing various associated charges—16, according to the WSJ—but Cristina’s appearance is extra dramatic because she is, after all, a royal. And it’s not exactly a convenient moment for a Spanish royal to be brought up on charges of tax fraud: “This is a very important moment for the monarchy and a challenging situation for the head of state,” law professor Eduardo Ruiz de Erenchun told the WSJ. And sure enough, nearby was a passel of anti-monarchy demonstrators, doing their thing.

Monarchy—it’s sort of a miserable gig!


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

Photo via AP Images.

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