THE judge has formalised charges against Princess Cristina, the sister of the new King Felipe, in a tax fraud and money laundering case.

Spain’s 49-year-old princess could now face trial, and if found guilty she could face up to 11 years in prison.

This is a major development in the investigation, and will come as a huge embarrassment for Felipe – who only came to the throne six days ago.

The investigating judge, Jose Castro, believes the princess knows more than she has revealed about the allegedly corrupt activities of her husband, Inaki Urdangarin.

During the three-year inquiry, the Princess’ allegedly fraudulent activities have caused huge damage to the popularity of the royal family.

It is alleged that Urdangarin – the Duke of Palma – and former business partner Diego Torres embezzled 5.6 million euros of public funds.

They allegedly overcharged regional governments for organizing sporting events as part of a not-for-profit organisation called Noos.

The princess could now face trial alongside her husband and other suspects, but an appeal has been lodged against the decision.

A final decision on whether she will stand trial will be made by the provincial court at Palma de Mallorca.

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