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Queen Sofía celebrates 80th birthday with private lunch with family – including Infanta Cristina

King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia, King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Leonor, Sofia, Elena, Cristina
Casa de SM el Rey

Queen Sofía of Spain celebrated her 80th birthday yesterday with a private lunch at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid with her husband, King Juan Carlos, children and grandchildren.

Even Juan Carlos and Sofía’s scandal-plagued daughter, Infanta Cristina was in attendance after being out of the royal fold for years due to her and her husband’s trial for fraud and money laundering. However, she did attend the Mass for her late paternal grandfather, Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona in April of this year but was not seen in any photos released by the Royal House.

Casa Real did not reveal information about the family lunch, but they did release a photo taken outside Zarzuela Palace of the Spanish Royal Family. Pictured with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía were King Felipe and Queen Letizia with their daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía; Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo with her two children, Felipe de Marichalar y Borbón and Victoria de Marichalar y Borbón; and Infanta Cristina with her four children: Juan Urdangarín y de Borbón, Pablo Urdangarín y de Borbón, Miguel Urdangarín y de Borbón, and Irene Urdangarín y de Borbón.

© Casa de SM el Rey

The celebration and photo were changes from the celebrations of King Juan Carlos’s 80th birthday in January of this year. At that private family lunch, also at Zarzuela Palace, Infanta Cristina and her family were not invited. The image Casa Real released on that day only included King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofía, King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor, Infanta Sofía, Infanta Elena and her children, Felipe and Victoria.

Queen Sofía was born as Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, the eldest child of King Paul and Queen Frederica of Greece on 2 November 1938 in Tatoi Palace in Athens, Greece. She has two younger siblings: King Constantine II of Greece and Princess Irene.

She married then Infante Juan Carlos of Spain on 14 May 1962, converting from Greek Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism and changing the spelling of her name to its Spanish variant “Sofía”.

Juan Carlos and Sofía have three children: Infanta Elena (b. 1963), Infanta Cristina (b. 1965), and King Felipe (b. 1968). They have four grandsons and four granddaughters.

Sofía became Queen of Spain where her husband ascended the throne after the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. In June 2014, Juan Carlos abdicated, and he and Sofía’s only son ascended the throne as King Felipe VI.

From all of us at Royal Central, Feliz Cumpleaños Su Majestad/Happy Birthday Your Majesty!

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.