Former Spanish journalist Queen Letizia was in her element on Thursday night at the annual journalism awards hosted by Spain’s ABC newspaper in Madrid.
She was sans her husband, King Felipe, who pulled out earlier in the day due to the ongoing secession situation in Catalonia.
At the dinner and award ceremony, Her Majesty was accompanied by Cristina Cifuenmtes, President of the Community of Madrid; Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, Vice-President of the Government; Alfonso Dastis, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; Rafael Catalá, Minister of Justice; and María Dolores de Cospedal, Minister of Defence, among others in the government and ABC newspaper.
Queen Letizia handed out the awards to the winners and spoke to the 200 strong crowd; she began her speech by mentioning the absence of her husband saying, “I would like first to convey to you all the affection of the King, who cannot accompany us today for reasons which, I am sure, everyone understands.”
She also said that the awards honour the three winners and “by extension, to remember the validity that the press – journalism, journalists – are, to be, that stable and rigorous reference.” She went on to say a few words about the winners and the reason they were chosen as the winners.
The winners this year were José Luis Garci, a filmmaker for his article about the death of artistic director Gil Parrondo, Cristián Zegers, the director of the newspaper El Mercurio for his career in Chile, and Andrés Rábago García “El Roto”, a cartoonist for the vignette published in the newspaper El País. They won the “Mariano de Cavia” Prize, “Luca de Tena” Award and the “Mingote” Prize, respectively.
On behalf of the King, Her Majesty told the audience that he wanted to convey “our gratitude for being the voice of the millions of Spaniards who, in a moment of anxiety, needed to trust in their institutions and find in everything that the Crown represents the hope to move forward.”
When the dinner and ceremony concluded, ABC publishing president, Catalina Luca de Tena, ended the evening with a toast to the King saying, “As is the tradition in this house, For the King! Viva España!”
Queen Letizia also had the opportunity to go to the Library of ABC where the newspapers of the last 114 years are held. Some of the papers included articles written by Letizia when she was a young journalist when she worked for the newspaper.