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Speech by HRH The Prince of Asturias at the 1988 Prince of Asturias Awards Ceremony

I too have a vocation. The vocation to serve Spain and the Spanish people in the tasks that pertain to me. And a desire to serve others, something that I am very proud of.

I once more have the honour of attending this solemn ceremony that now forms an indissoluble part of the cultural manifestations of our nation, open toward the future.

A future that marks the onset of my own demands because, together with so many other Spaniards of my generation, I am at the age in which to learn, to expand my knowledge, and to prepare my integration into the new times that are approaching.

I confess, with the modesty of a disciple, that it is most satisfactory and instructive to have such fine examples as those that are to be derived from the experts who have been honoured today and who are among us.

The awards that you receive are, evidently, a display of recognition for the work and creation in the different activities to which you have dedicated your lives.

Yet the truth is that it is we who feel honoured to be able to enjoy, to be able to learn, and to be able to discover the lessons from the infinite worlds of culture, science and art in which you are unparalleled and outstanding figures.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Olympics celebrated in Seoul and images from there are still fresh in my mind. As a young person of my generation, I undoubtedly experienced the same sensation as millions of youth the world over: I felt admiration upon seeing so many, with laudable sacrifice, accomplishing feats and pushing their physical abilities to the limit.

You are also the protagonists in an Olympiad of knowledge, culture, and spirit. You give us a lesson of effort, beauty, and generosity, which makes us feel more responsible each day.

Asturias has become, by virtue of these successive manifestations of cognisance elucidated by the granting of these increasingly prestigious awards, a universal forum that illuminates horizons, establishes points of inquiry and provides solutions.

It is befitting that I make reference to the future as an incitement that courses through the veins of today´s youth.

Yet the future is not to be considered as a jump into the void, foolishness, or an adventure without return. The future is based on the past and is filled with energy from the present. You, the recipients of these Awards, as creators, artists, and thinkers, are those who must nourish our imagination so that the coming years do not startle us and so that humanity can make fuller and more productive use of them.

May we know how to extract all of the message of vocation and self-sacrifice contained in your works!

I too have a vocation. The vocation to serve Spain and the Spanish people in the tasks that pertain to me. And a desire to serve others, something that I am very proud of.

Mr. President of Costa Rica:

The vocation of Spain is solidarity with the countries of Ibero-America, whose fortunes are our own. Your message, like the preceding statesmen who have previously honoured us in this common homeland of culture and science constituted by this Foundation´s Awards, will not remain in silence.

Your message is like a life-giving elixir. Take with you a greeting on my behalf for the Costa Rican youth that is shared by all the Spanish people.

I express my thanks to Mr. Samaranch for his presidency and my admiration goes out to his important endeavour so that clean, pure, and disinterested athletics serve as education for the people.

Likewise I express my thanks to Horacio Sáenz Guerrero, who represents the always stimulating activity of journalism in this ceremony.

It is certain that the world´s problems that await us in the future shall be momentous due to their complexity. In this regard, I want to highlight the immense labour of professors Moshinsky and Cardona.

And now that I am going to begin my studies at the Autonomous University of Madrid, I feel special satisfaction and respect before the illustrious professors Sánchez Agesta and Díez del Corral, whose imprint on the university is profound and timeless.

Thank you also to someone who, like Jorge Oteiza, humanises space and time in works that make us feel like one of God´s creatures.

As far as writers are concerned, my recognition goes out to Carmen Martín Gaite and the poet José Ángel Valente for having illuminated my time as a reader.

And thank you, at last, to Asturias and the Asturian people that have put their enthusiasm and vigour behind the promising development of these Awards that bear my name.


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