Prince of Asturias Awards 1981–2014. Speeches

P rince of A sturias A wards 1981-2014. S peeches 3 Among the many magnificent memories I treasure of the thirty-four years over which the Prince of Asturias Awards Ceremonies have been held, which are now reflected in this publication, one of the most powerful is the image of the Laureates who have spoken from the stage of the Campoamor Theatre. Their thoughts, their counsel, their opinions and warnings, all the dreams that they have sketched are what essentially make up the history of the Foundation, constructing an edifice built of grandeur, ideals and positivity.The Awards have grown—as have we along with them—accompanied by the forthright, emotive and sincere words of so many courageous and socially committed wise men and women. Furthermore, this body of thought —part of which can be read in this book— constitutes a prominent and unforgettable part of the Foundation’s heritage. The reading of this evocative volume also awakens a certain sense of nostalgia. This always happens when looking back, bringing to mind anecdotes and experiences such as those I cherish of this time: the brevity of my first public speech, in 1981, and the solicitude with which I read it; different incidents that slowly but surely reveal the inside story of the institution; the ever-suggestive recourse to quotes from poems. And, above all, the realization that one word is repeated more than any other in my speeches: Spain. This fact fills me with deep emotion and heartfelt pride. Herein lies the hopeful, socially committed, democratic, diverse and united Spain. The Spain of peace and relentless progress. The Spain of concord and understanding. And, in constant dialogue with Spain, its brilliant history and fortitude, the grandeur of its millenary journey, its sense of fellowship and the oft-times proven solidarity of the Spanish people; its pursuit of common interest and well-being, its strong sense of justice, its unswaying Europeanism and its deep historical ties with Latin America. All these values and virtues that our country possesses are reflected each year in the Awards Ceremony. The Foundation is now the Princess of Asturias Foundation and the Awards, the Princess of Asturias Awards. Yet their essence —all that has driven them, made them prestigious and enabled them to grow— remains intact. As intact as the words of those who have been, and continue to be, the true protagonists of the event: our Laureates. These exceptional witnesses to our times, lovers of beauty, who are committed to aiding humanity, while remaining faithful to their principles and values, imbue these texts withmeaning, proffering words which collectively symbolize the yearnings that drive us, exemplify the founding goals of the Awards and represent our hopes and aspirations. HM King Felipe VI