MADRID (AP) — The sister of Spain’s King Felipe VI, Cristina de Borbón, and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, are announcing the end of their marriage after nearly 25 years together, Spain’s state news agency EFE reported Monday, citing a statement from the couple.
The announcement came a week after a gossip magazine in Spain published photos of Urdangarin taking a stroll in a southern French coastal town while holding hands with a work colleague.
In their statement to EFE, the couple asked for “respect” for a private decision “to end our marriage relationship by mutual agreement.” They added that their commitment to their four children remained “intact,” the agency said.
Urdangarin, a 54-year-old former Olympic handball medal winner, was convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2018. He served part of his five-year and 10-month sentence until early last year in a northern Spanish prison before judges allowed him to swap it for community work.
Due to the corruption scandal, the couple was stripped of their aristocratic titles and dropped from the Royal House’s payroll.
The judicial process, which also saw Cristina questioned and fined as a beneficiary of her husband’s crimes, contributed to the erosion of the royal family’s image, leading eventually to the abdication of Juan Carlos I, who passed on the throne to his son, Felipe, in 2014.
Cristina, 56, now lives in Geneva, Switzerland.
The couple married in Oct. 1997 at a lavish ceremony in Barcelona.
Urdangarin was asked last week about the photos published by Lecturas, a magazine focused on celebrities, as he went to work at a consulting firm in the Basque northern city of Vitoria.
“These are things that happen,” he answered.