Human Interest

Spain king’s sisters stir controversy by getting vaccine on Abu Dhabi trip

Madrid, Mar 3 (efe-epa).- The Spanish royal family has found itself at the heart of another scandal after it was revealed that the sisters of King Felipe VI were vaccinated against Covid-19 during a trip to the United Arab Emirates, where they went to visit their father, the self-exiled former monarch Juan Carlos I.

Reports on the trip made by princesses Elena and Cristina in mid-February published by online news outlet El Confidencial came less than a week after Juan Carlos paid a 4 million euro tax debt to Spain’s coffers amid an ongoing financial scandal.

Commenting on the incident in a statement to the press, Elena said they had taken the vaccine with the aim of being eligible for a health passport that would allow them to visit their father “regularly.”

“Were it not for those circumstances, we would have waited for our turn for the vaccine in Spain,” the older sister of Felipe VI said.

Elena, 57, lives in the Spanish capital Madrid, while Cristina, 55, lives in Geneva.

Juan Carlos has also been vaccinated. The former monarch, who abdicated in favor of his son in 2014, moved to Abu Dhabi in August last year to shift the focus of a corruption scandal alleging his involvement in a multi-billion dollar high-speed rail deal in Saudi Arabia away from the core of Spanish royal household.

The Spanish royal household on Tuesday released a statement distancing Felipe VI from the actions of his sisters and stating that he, Queen Letizia and their two princess daughters would wait for their turn according to Spain’s vaccine strategy.

Felipe VI stripped Cristina of the title of Duchess of Mallorca during a trial for corruption charges against her and her husband Iñaki Urdangarin in 2015. She was later acquitted, although he was sentenced to six years, a term that would later be reduced on appeal. EFE-EPA

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