Presentation ceremony this Monday of the Princess of Girona Foundation awards, presided over by the King and Queen, in the center of the image, and the Princess of Asturias, Leonor, on the left. Gianluca Battista
Five women have won the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards this year, which seek to recognize the careers of young people with exemplary initiatives.
“My sister Sofía and I have seen your projects and we are admired and impressed”, Princess Leonor told them during a gala held this Monday at the Water Museum in Cornellà de Llobregat (Barcelona) and to which no representative has attended of the Generalitat.
The president of Congress, Meritxell Batet, the Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría, and the leader of the PSC, Salvador Illa, did attend.
For the third consecutive year (plus the break in 2020 due to the pandemic), the ceremony has not been held in Girona, due to the veto of the independence formations.
In his speech, Felipe VI highlighted the importance of "collaborating and cooperating in order to build a better world,
It's been four years since the Princess of Girona awards ceremony has been held in the province that gives them their name.
The last time it occupied its traditional stage, the Girona Conference Center Auditorium, was on June 29, 2017. That was also the last time that King Felipe VI and the then president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont met.
There were only three months left for the illegal referendum on October 1 and the tension was cutting the atmosphere, but the authorities kept their forms and fulfilled their institutional role.
The bridges were blown up in October of that year: on the 1st the illegal referendum took place, on the 3rd the Head of State delivered his speech calling for legality to be restored, and on the 25th the Girona City Council, governed by Marta Madrenas (of the PDeCat, then Puigdemont's party),
The following year, the Girona city council hid behind the fact that the municipal auditorium was under construction so as not to transfer it to the Princess of Girona Foundation, and the awards were moved to Mas Marroch, the events center of the Celler de los Roca brothers, in the municipality of Vilablareix.
The criticism suffered by its hosts was so harsh that the Casa del Rey chose to move out of Girona in subsequent editions, but without settling in a definitive location (in 2019 the ceremony was held in a hotel in Barcelona; in 2021 at the headquarters of Caixa Fórum; and in 2022 at the Agbar Foundation), as proof that the itinerancy of the act is temporary and its aspiration is to return to the original stage.
In these years, the conflict surrounding the stays of the King in Catalonia has been reduced,
which has made it possible for Princess Leonor and her sister Sofía to come to Figueras for the first time last Sunday, in what was their first visit to the province of Girona.
The House of the King aspires to gradually recover normality, trusting that time will cause the waters to return to their course, and believes that trying to force the situation could be counterproductive.
The awards, endowed with 20,000 euros, recognize the careers of young people between 16 and 35 years of age who have stood out for their work, their merits and their exemplary nature.
This year the award has been given to the actress, playwright and producer María Hervás (Arts and Letters);
the engineer Elisenda Bou-Balust (Company);
the physicist and researcher Eleonora Viezzer (Scientific Research);
the psychologist and social entrepreneur Claudia Tecglen (Social) and the Vietnamese conservationist and writer Trang Nguyen (International).
During this Monday's ceremony, Princess Leonor alluded to "the demand" of the current moment, not only because of the blows that the pandemic continues to give but because of "terrible events such as the war in Ukraine," she pointed out.
The eldest daughter of the Kings empathized with the young people who live "a devastating situation".
In a speech that she delivered again in polished Catalan, Leonor said that she had her mind set on the generation of young people "who have been able to lose hope of a better future."
The King also highlighted the challenge facing the new generations: “Young people must speak up.
Because the future we are talking about is your future.
And because yours is also the present”.
Leonor, who also holds the title of princess of Girona, was in Figueres on Sunday at an event held at the Dalí Theatre-Museum.
At the age of 16, this was her first visit to the province of Girona.
For years the independence movement has fueled the rejection of the monarchy in Catalonia and the Royal House has encountered recurring impediments to organizing trips and protocol events.
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