On Friday of this week, Queen Letizia hosted the 28th presentation of the Tomás Francisco Prieto Prize at the Zarzuela Palace, her royal residence in the Spanish capital, Madrid. The prize celebrates the work of young artists, and the Queen was joined at the Palace, and the Queen was joined by students from the Masters in Media of Graphic Printing, Illustration and Artistic Coinmaking. She posed with them, dressed in a plain black top and leopard print skirt, and performed the presentation solo, without her husband, King Felipe VI.
The award-winning student gets to design a medal on a subject of their own choosing. It is then produced in a limited edition of gold, silver and copper and a medal is presented and offered to the Queen of Spain at the award ceremony. As well as acknowledging this year’s winner, the award ceremony also marks the beginning of an exhibition showcasing the work of last year’s winner of the prize.
Tomás Francisco Prieto was a Spanish engraver and medallist born just over three hundred years ago; he also became Director of Engraving at the Royal Academy of San Fernando. He was also the General Engraver to the Mint of King Carlos III. After his death in 1783, the King bought a collection of Tomás’s books, engravings and other items he had used whilst teaching and these became the basis of the Museum of the Royal Mint, or Museo Casa de la Moneda, and was subsequently added to as can be seen in Madrid today.
Queen Letizia carries out a programme of engagements both with and without the King, and interestingly her first solo engagement in 2014 was also artistic – an exhibition of Modern Art at the Prado Museum in Madrid. The couple have also recently released some pictures of them relaxing at home with their two children; Leonor, Princess of Asturias and Infanta Sofía.