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Words by Her Royal Highness  

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Words by Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias at the 2019 Princess of Asturias Awards Ceremony

Your Majesties, Authorities, Trustees and Jury Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Laureates,

Today is a very important day in my life which I have looked forward to so much. From a very young age, I have seen the affection and emotion with which my parents, The Majesties the King and Queen, come to the Principality every year to preside over this ceremony and experience everything that occurs in this land during the days given over to our awards. This in itself is reason enough for me to feel very happy to be here today.

My parents have always spoken to my sister, the Infanta Sofía, and me of Asturias, of its culture, history and traditions... and also of its countryside. But, above all, they have taught us to love and admire the Asturian people. I was thinking now about everything we experienced during our visit to Covadonga last year.

Asturias is also the land of my mother, The Queen. Asturian blood runs through my veins.

It is also the land that gives its name to the title that I hold as Heir to the Throne, as my father, The King, did for so many years. And I do so with a sense of responsibility; I feel very honoured to do so. It is a title that pledges me to the commitment and endeavour of serving Spain and all Spaniards. At home, the words Spain and Asturias are always united with the same force with which history has united them. That is how I feel it in my heart.

I wish to thank in particular those who created this Foundation almost 40 years ago, and all those who devote their work, intelligence and generosity to it every day.

And, of course, I wish to congratulate the Laureates, the protagonists of this ceremony. Thank you very much for coming. It is an honor to have you here. Thank you for promoting culture and science, for fostering solidarity, for improving education. Thank you for working to preserve nature and reduce injustice, discrimination, poverty and disease. We are here to pay you tribute. Your work reminds us that there are millions of people who think and act to make a better world.

I would also like to thank my grandmother, Queen Sofía. She knows how important her presence at this ceremony is for me, which means both for Asturias and for all of Spain. Thanks also to all who have wished to join us here and to those who always support and help the Foundation. This moment will be unforgettable for me. As my father said at my age on this very stage, it will be a day that I “will always carry in the deepest recesses of my heart”.

Thank you very much.

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