In her first major speech, the heir to the throne of Spain has pledged her ongoing service to her country and all those living in it. Princess Leonor made her promise at the Princess of Asturias Awards in Oviedo which she is overseeing for the first time.
Speaking confidently in front of a packed auditorium, the thirteen year old royal said her title of Princess of Asturias led her to a commitment to ”serve Spain and all Spaniards with dedication and effort” and she told her audience that ”today is a very important day in my life”.
Princess Leonor was accompanied by her parents, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, and her sister, Infanta Sofia. Leonor spoke warmly of her own bond with Asturias, reminding her listeners that her mother was born and raised in Oviedo and saying ”I carry Asturian blood”. She also talked about how her parents had always talked to her and her sister about the history and culture of Asturias but above all ”they have taught us to love and admire Asturians”.
Three of Leonor’s four grandparents were also present and the future monarch had special words for her paternal grandmother, Queen Sofia of Spain, who was watching the ceremony in the auditorium. Leonor said ”I want to thank my grandmother, Queen Sofia. She knows how important it is to me that she is here at this ceremony, which means so much to Asturias and to the whole of Spain”.
She also underlined the importance her parents have given to the region saying that, for her, ”Spain and Asturias are always united with the same force that history unites them”.
And Leonor also had warm words for the recipients of the prizes which were set up in 1980 and which have since become globally recognised symbols of excellence. She told them ”your work reminds us that there are millions of people who think and act so that the world will be a better place”.
Princess Leonor arrived in Oviedo with her family on Thursday when they were given an official welcome to the city.