Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain was in Valencia yesterday to attend the King Jaime I Awards, while her husband, His Majesty King Felipe stayed back in Madrid to continue to deal with the ongoing Catalonian independence crisis.
The King had been scheduled to attend but pulled out of the event last week – and all events planned for this week – while the situation in Catalonia is ongoing.
The King Jaime I Awards are in their 29th edition, and some of the awards handed out were initially created in 1989 by the Generalitat Valenciana and the Valencian Foundation of Advanced Studies; this was done under the honorary presidency of King Juan Carlos “with the objective of uniting, in studies and research, scientific and business entities, and thus promote research and scientific development in Spain,” according to Casa Real.
Her Majesty spoke at the event, in both Spanish and Valencian, and presented each of the awards to the winners. This year they included Fernando Martín García for the King Jaime I Award for Basic Research 2017, Carmen Herrero Blanco for the King Jaime I Award for Economics 2017, Josep Dalmau Obrador for the Jaime I Prize for Clinical Medicine 2017, Anna María Traveset Vilaginés for the King Jaime I Prize for Environmental Protection 2017, Susana Marcos Celestino for the Jaime I Award for New Technologies 2017 and Alicia Asín Pérez for the Jaime I Prize for Entrepreneur 2017.
The winners are given 100,000 euros, a diploma and gold medal with the promise that they allocate some of this to assist in research in Spain.
The Queen told those assembled after handing out the prizes that she was “surrounded by excellence in this delivery of the King Jaime I Awards” and that “I would like to promote the idea, that we all share, that knowledge, science, education, culture (also business culture), innovation, this idea, is what will continue to lead us to the place where, each one from his responsibility, we will continue to grow as a country in a better and fairer Spain.”
Queen Letizia also told the crowd that coming to Valencia was both comforting and encouraging before thanking all those involved for their determination to “move forward, to strengthen, among all of us, our country.”