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            Princess of Asturias Awards ceremony held in Spain with princess' debut speech

            (Xinhua)    09:27, October 20, 2019

            Spain's Princess Leonor attends the ceremony to present the Princess of Asturias Awards in Oviedo, Spain, Oct. 18, 2019. The annual ceremony to present the Princess of Asturias Awards was held Friday in the northern Spainish city of Oviedo, during which the 13-year-old Spanish princess delivered her debut speech. "Today is a very important day in my life and one I have waited for with a lot of expectation," said Spain's Princess Leonor at the ceremony where her namesake awards were presented to individuals, entities or organizations worldwide who make notable achievements in sciences, humanities and public affairs. Leonor, who is the heir to the Spanish throne, presided over the ceremony alongside her father, King Felipe VI of Spain, at the Campoamor Theatre in Oviedo. (Princess of Asturias Foundation/Handout via Xinhua)

            OVIEDO, Spain, Oct. 18 -- The annual ceremony to present the Princess of Asturias Awards was held Friday in the northern Spainish city of Oviedo, during which the 13-year-old Spanish princess delivered her debut speech.

            "Today is a very important day in my life and one I have waited for with a lot of expectation," said Spain's Princess Leonor at the ceremony where her namesake awards were presented to individuals, entities or organizations worldwide who make notable achievements in sciences, humanities and public affairs.

            Leonor, who is the heir to the Spanish throne, presided over the ceremony alongside her father, King Felipe VI of Spain, at the Campoamor Theatre in Oviedo.

            Leonor praised the Principality of Asturias, an autonomous community in northwest Spain, for its "culture, history and traditions."

            "I have Asturian blood in me ... It is the land which lends its name to the heir to the throne and I feel very proud of that. It is a title which commits me to work(ing) to serve Spain and all of the Spanish people," she said.

            Meanwhile, King Felipe VI told his daughter that "serving Spain and the Spanish should be the biggest source of pride and the biggest honor that you can achieve."

            He also highlighted the significance of the awards, which "cross frontiers and arrive at all of the areas of knowledge."

            The Princess of Asturias Awards, established in 1980, are given every year in eight different fields: Arts, Literature, Social Sciences, Technical and Scientific Research, International Cooperation, Sport, Concord, and Communication and Humanities. The winners each will receive a certificate, a statue by artist Joan Miro and a cash prize of 50,000 euros (around 55,825 U.S. dollars).

            Among the laureates this year, British theater director Peter Brook won the Arts Award, and U.S. writer Siri Hustvedt won the Literature Award. Cuban sociologist Alejandro Portes earned the Social Sciences Award, and the Technical and Scientific Research Award was shared by U.S. biologist Joanne Chory and Argentinean ecologist Sandra Myrna Diaz.

            U.S. engineer Salmas Khan got the International Cooperation Award, U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn carried off the Sport Award, and the Polish city of Gdansk received the Concord Award.

            Madrid's famous Prado Museum was given the Communication and Humanities Award, which was collected by Javier Solana, president of the Prado's Board of Trustees.

            "It is an extraordinarily important day from a cultural point of view," Solana told Xinhua at the ceremony.

            "I have the privilege to be the president of the Prado's Board of Trustees and it is an enormous honor for me that I am here in this role for the Prado's 200th anniversary. I couldn't be happier," he said


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