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Royalty Is Bouncing Our Way


Infanta Cristina, right, and husband Iñaki Urdangarín (Casa de Su Majestad el Rey/Dalda)Enlarge Image


Know nothing about handball? Well, study up. Spain's greatest handball player is moving to town!

Oh, and he happens to be married to the king of Spain's daughter.

Your new neighbors-to-be are Cristina Federica de Borbón y Grecia and Iñaki Urdangarín Liebaert, but you can call them Duchess and Duke -- and Spain is buzzing over the attractive royals' imminent move to D.C., reports our colleague Manuel Roig-Franzia.

Her Royal Highness the Infanta Cristina, 43, is the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia; her 41-year-old husband is an exec for Spanish telephone behemoth Telefónica, a major player in South America, whose job is bringing them here. But Spanish sports fans know him as the star of the national handball team, which won Olympic bronze in 1996 and 2000.

And before you try to invite them to dinner -- know that everyone else will be, too. Her younger brother, Prince Felipe, the smokin' hot Euro celeb-mag star and heir to the throne, was a society favorite when he lived here from '93 to '95 while studying at Georgetown. "If she's half as nice as Felipe, Washington's going to fall in love with them," said Kevin Chaffee, society chronicler and senior editor for Washington Life. The Borbón family "doesn't have the rarefied air that the British royals have." No word yet where the royals will live, but Spanish blogs are speculating that Sidwell Friends could snag their four kids -- Juan Valentín de Todos los Santos, 9; Pablo Nicolás, 8; Miguel, 6, and Irene, 3.

Felipe was back here in March to promote Spanish industry, and his parents went to Florida's South Beach Wine and Food Festival in February. There they attended a dinner emceed by chef Mario Batali, who created a Spanish tabloid scandal by daring to use four-letter words in front of royalty. So be forewarned, Cristina and Iñaki -- watch out for that Rahm Emanuel guy.


By The Reliable Source  |  April 23, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
 
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