Speaking at the annual Prince Claus Awards ceremony in Amsterdam this week, His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn of The Netherlands talked about the current, tense climate of division and the fact that it’s more important than ever to realise that people have more in common than they may think.
During the presentation at the Royal Palace in Dam Square Prince Constantijn spoke passionately, saying: “Because of all the talk about mischief and gloom, fake news and media hypes, polarization and populism, threats to our judiciary and democracy, we sometimes forget that there are values that we all seem to be connected to… Things like loyalty, love, endurance, resilience, suffering, generosity and compassion.”
The Prince highlighted the benefits of making more time for one another, calling for more “time to sit and listen, to eat and drink together and to share our cultures with each other. Only with tangible contact and deep dialogues can we understand and inspire each other. Only then can a new form of trust be built up.”
Awarded each year to selected artists, thinkers and cultural organisations, the Prince Claus Awards were founded in 1997. For the past several years Prince Constantijn has presented the awards in his father’s name as part of his role as Honorary Chairman of the Prince Claus Fund.
The Prince Claus Awards honour “outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development. The awards are presented annually to individuals or organisations whose cultural actions have a positive impact on the development of their societies.” This year’s winners included Brazilian documentary filmmaker Vincent Carelli and environmental activist Ma Jun.
Joining Prince Constantijn at the awards ceremony was his wife, Princess Laurentian, his brother King Willem-Alexander, his sister-in-law Queen Máxima, his mother Princess Beatrix and his sister-in-law Princess Mabel (wife of his late brother, Prince Friso).