Biography of HRH Infanta Cristina
Infanta Cristina Federica de Borbon y Grecia is the youngest daughter of the king Juan Carlos and queen Sofia and holds the fifth place in the line of succession to the throne, after the Prince of Asturias, Infanta Elena and her children, Froilán and Victoria.
Cristina was born in Madrid on June 13th, 1965, and was christened at the Palace of La Zarzuela, by the Archbishop of Madrid. Her godparents were HRH Don Alfonso de Borbón, Duke of Cádiz, and HRH Infanta Cristina de Borbón y Battemberg.
Cristina was educated at the Santa Maria del Camino School, and from 1984 began to study for a degree in politics, at the Complutense University of Madrid, where she graduated in 1989.
At the age of 24, the second daughter of King Juan Carlos became the first woman of the Spanish Royal Family to get a university degree. And that is what defines her. Discreet, cultured and independent, Infanta Cristina has built her career step by step, based on her own merits.
In 1990, she went to New YorkUniversity, where she obtained a Master's degree in International Relations and, in 1991, the Infanta did a short course at UNESCO in Paris. On her return to Spain, she kept up her links with this international organization, through its Spanish Committee, taking part in a number of projects carried out in collaboration with Spanish bodies and institutions, and paying special attention to UNESCO activities in Latin America.
At the present time, she’s the person in charge of the Programme for International Co-operation of La Caixa Foundation, in Barcelona, the city where she lives, since 1992.
Activities in Spain and abroad
Ever since she came of age, Infanta Cristina has been performing institutional activities as a member of the Royal Family, carrying out many institutional, cultural, academic and welfare activities both in Spain and abroad, especially in European and Latin American countries.
As honorary chairperson of the Spanish Committee of UNESCO, she has maintained several projects, especially educational ones, focusing on activities to protect the natural and artistic heritage. Besides being appointed Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations for the Second World Assembly on Ageing in October 2001, she is also honorary chairperson of the Infanta Cristina Foundation, for the physically and mentally handicapped, and a member of the Dali Foundation Board of Trustees.
As President of the International Foundation for Disabled Sailing, Cristina participates in courses on adapted sailing for handicapped people and supports a series of other welfare bodies as well.
During the Olympic Games of Atlanta, Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarin met for the first time, while celebrating the bronze medal obtained by the handball team. From that moment on, a narrow relationship among some of the attendants was to settle down, as they started to date in Barcelona. Thanks to the discretion of this group of friends, their romance was soon consolidated. The couple married on October 4th, 1997, at the Basilica Cathedral of Barcelona. On that occasion, HM the King granted them the title of Dukes of Palma de Mallorca.
They have four children: Juan Valentin (who was born on September 29th, 1999), Pablo Nicolás (born on December 6th 2000), Miguel (born on April 30th, 2002) and Irene (born on June 5th, 2005).
Cristina practises several sports, including squash, skiing, cycling and, above all, sailing, having participated in a series of national and international events. After experiencing the classes Optimist, Cadete, Lisar and 420, she has specialized herself on class 470, for which she participated in the World Championship of 1987 in Kiel (Germany). That same year, she gained the IV Copa de España together with Gustavo Doreste, and she inclusively took part of the reserve crew, during the Seoul Olympic Games of 1988, where she was the standard bearer for the Spanish team, at the opening parade.
The Infanta is also a passionate lover of music, and she used to play flute and piano as a young girl. She had even confessed that she would like to be a pianist, as her aunt Irene of Greece. Furthermore, Cristina is fond of painting, art, literature and collecting elephants. According to those who know her, she doesn’t like to cook and, though preferring vegetables, she is not a strictly vegetarian as her mother Queen Sofia.
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