The judge in the case known as the Nóos affair, José Castro, informed the Spanish princess she had deposited the money into the wrong bank account — that of a Barcelona court rather than the Majorca court which is investigating her.
The error occurred after Princess Cristina accidentally switched the order of two numbers in the legal account number.
Many Spaniards took to Twitter in surprise, saying that they had always thought older sister, Elena, was the stupid one:
Twitter user @cot_julia tweeted: "And that’s the intelligent sister, be careful".
Another user of the social media platform, @franmcamacho, tweeted “I’ve checked my bank account and I wasn't the lucky one who Princess Cristina made the deposit to. When I was little, I always thought the stupid princess was Elena.”
"Hola, vengo a ingresar 600.000€" pic.twitter.com/YplQK7moQH— Barquín (@barq_in) December 16, 2014
"Hello, I'd like to deposit €600,000."
Even North Korean leader Kim Jong-un weighed in on the controversy, or at least a parody account claiming to be him did so:
He leído que la infanta ha ingresado dinero en una cuenta errónea, ¿pero cómo dejan a Elena salir a la calle sin su tutora?— Kim Jong-un (@norcoreano) December 16, 2014
“I’ve heard that Princess Cristina put money in the wrong bank account. Now how will Elena go out in public without her tutor?”
The princess paid the €587,413 ($729,500) public liability bond after a recent demand from the public prosecutor in a long-running corruption case.
The sum totals half the funds allegedly obtained illegally via Aizoon, a company Cristina jointly held with her husband Iñaki Urdangarin and which investigators say was used as a front for laundering public money embezzled from the Nóos charitable sports foundation.
Cristina is still facing two charges of tax fraud in the case which has damaged the Spanish monarchy. A judge is set to decide before Christmas if the charges will stand or be dropped.
Se me ha ocurrido una startup que consiste en que la Infanta Cristina me ingrese 600.000 euros en mi cuenta corriente.— BRLLBR (@_Barallobre) December 17, 2014
“I've had an idea for a startup which consists of Princess Cristina putting €600,000 in my current account.”
A mother of four with a master's degree from New York University, Cristina was once considered untouchable as a member of the royal family.
But the so-called Nóos affair fanned public anger against the monarchy and ruling class during the recent years of economic hardship in Spain.
Urdangarin and Cristina have been excluded from royal activities since 2011.
Nacho, hay que devolver los 600.000€; seguro que son de alguien que los necesita. pic.twitter.com/yshfAkPGZ9— Mongol (@Mongolear) December 16, 2014
“Nacho, you have to give back the €600,000; I’m sure it belongs to someone who really needs it.”