Queen puts aside royal rift at event to remember her father
Scandal-plagued Princess Cristina and her husband among attendees at family ceremony in Athens
For the first time since June 2013, Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia were seen on Thursday in the company of Princess Cristina at a public event.
The royal palace had dropped the infanta Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, from the official agenda in the aftermath of the Nóos investigation, a scandal that revolves around allegations of embezzlement and tax evasion committed by Urdangarin. In a historical first, Cristina de Borbón was forced to give testimony before a judge earlier this year to clear up her own role in the case.
The controversy has created a clear rift within the family, with Urdangarin's name having been deleted from all of the palace's activities, and even the website. Cristina had been dropped from all official engagements as well.
Yet on Thursday she was seen in the company of the rest of the family, at a tribute to Pablo I of Greece, Queen Sofia's father, who died 50 years ago yesterday.
It was Sofia's express wish to have all her children with her for the event. The last time they were gathered together was at another family ceremony, a Mass held on the centennial of the birth of Don Juan, who was King Juan Carlos' father.
Sources at La Zarzuela palace insisted that Thursday's ceremony, held at the royal cemetery of Tatoi palace in Athens (Sofia, as her father, was born in Greece), was “a private family affair,” which is why they all flew to Athens on regular flights.
The same sources confirmed that the Dukes of Palma – Urdangarin and Cristina – remain off the official agenda. But perhaps the most eloquent evidence of the royal rift was the group photograph taken after the ceremony: the queen, the prince and his wife, and Princess Elena stood together at the far right, while Princess Cristina was on the left, separated from the others by cousins, uncles and other relatives.