At the Princess of Asturias Awards 2023, Princess Leonor captivated all present with a balanced speech that reflected her evolution into a mature future monarch.
The heir to the throne made references to her latest milestones, conveying a deep understanding of her growing responsibilities.
Princess Leonor’s Speech at the Princess of Asturias Awards 2023
At the beginning of her speech, Leonor acknowledged the importance of having recently been sworn in to serve Spain and having begun her military training.
She described sharing a “continuous apprenticeship” with those who have chosen lives of “service with great demands and personal sacrifices.”
The Princess also recalled that on October 31 she will turn 18 and swear allegiance to the Constitution, momentous events on a personal and institutional level.
Leonor summed up her mentality: “I understand very well and I am aware of what my duty is and what my responsibilities are”.
As honorary president of the Princess of Asturias Foundation, Leonor said she values how the award winners contribute to improving society, education, health, science, and culture.
She praised awardees such as writer Nuccio Ordine for humanizing humanity and defending teachers.
Leonor also admired the acting career of Meryl Streep, whom she described as an example of “freedom, courage, and sensitivity”.
She praised other honorees for advancing history and pushing boundaries.
The eldest daughter of the King and Queen of Spain said she was inspired by the actions of the award winners, despite their age differences.
Princess Leonor of Spain’s complete speech
“Your Majesties, authorities, ladies and gentlemen, dear awardees, I would like to be able to easily express what I feel on a day like today, here in Oviedo, after having taken the oath of service to Spain before our flag just two weeks ago. And after having started my military training, which is allowing me to share continuous learning with people who have chosen a life of service with great demands and personal renunciations. In addition, on the 31st I turn 18 and I will have the honor of swearing the Constitution, with what that means to me personally and institutionally. What I can tell you is that I understand very well and I am aware of what my duty is and what my responsibilities entail.
As honorary president of this Foundation, one of them is to understand and value what our award winners contribute to a society where many generations live together with the idea of ensuring that those who need it most have the opportunity to improve their lives, their education, their health; and that science, culture and environmental protection are a priority. This can only be achieved with common goals and individual and collective effort.
Knowing the immense legacy of Nuccio Ordine, how he managed to humanize humanity and his defense of teachers, I understand why education is the foundation of any society that aims to be better. And with Meryl Streep’s films, I see how a great artist can strip herself to make room for her characters and dilute herself in her emotions. And to do so, moreover, throughout an impeccable career and with freedom, courage and sensitivity to the challenges of our time.
Hélène Carrère’s contribution to the analysis of contemporary history and the efforts of the Mary’s Meals organization to feed children in their schools are also examples of those who understand that it is necessary to get involved in order to contribute to improving things.
I admire that Murakami has for decades built up a universe of his own with words, in which East and West are portrayed in urban and often challenging environments. And I also watch with enthusiasm the Kenyan athlete Kipchoge’s eagerness to push his limits and to always keep working to achieve his purpose and, moreover, to be supportive. Biologists Gordon, Greenberg and Bassler amaze me with their studies on the bacteria that inhabit our bodies and how essential they are to health and life. And the work of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative is reflected in these words of its executive director: there are ailments that affect a quarter of the world’s population and represent one percent of research.
On this stage today are people with whom I aspire to identify, even if they are a few decades older than I am. Because I feel that they transmit, through their actions and works, that hope that guides and inspires us young people. I would like to thank all our award winners, including those who have left us. For the light they shed on the challenges and complexity of the world in which we live. And for ensuring that the awards that bear my name encourage us to walk a shared and hopeful path, without shirking our efforts and with responsibility”.