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Queen Letizia speaks with Princess of Girona winners

Queen Letizia met with the winner of this year’s Princess of Girona 2021 Arts and Letters Award on Thursday, and held a roundtable talk with previous winners, ahead of this year’s virtual awards ceremony.

María Sánchez Rodríguez was named as the 2021 Arts and Letters Award winner, for her work “as a poet, writer and activist in defense of rural culture, and especially, the forgotten role of women in the countryside,” per the Spanish Royal House.

Rodríguez said in a quick speech that her win is “a recognition of my work and of myself both as a field veterinarian and as a writer. It highlights the culture and living heritage that we have in our rural areas.”

The jury, who announced their selection on Thursday, said that Rodríguez’s “work as a veterinarian provides her with a deep connection with the environmental and social heritage of rural life, which she is capable of transmitting with a firm and personal poetic voice.”

The Princess of Girona Awards are named in honour of the current Princess of Girona, Princess Leonor, who attends the ceremony with her family every year.

Queen Letizia also spoke with Hugo Fontela, Elena Medel, Soleá Morente, and Rafael R. Villalobos—the winners in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019, respectively—to hear about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their work.

As a way of spotlighting the work of the Princess of Girona Foundation, which presents the awards every year, the Foundation will go on a tour of communities throughout the spring to meet with people, publicise its programs and activities, and announce the winners in the other award categories. The winners of the Business, Social, and Scientific Research Awards will all be announced by 29 April.

The winners—and the discussions had at each tour stop—will be shared on the Princess of Girona Foundation’s website and YouTube page.

The purpose of the tour is to “present through different blocks the projects in which the entity works, aimed at the professional development of young people and educational transformation, and will propose topics and debates of interest promoting a intergenerational dialogue, today more necessary than ever to build a more cooperative and supportive society,” according to the Foundation’s official website.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.