King Felipe, Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía visited the rural parish of Somao on Saturday to present the parish with the Exemplary Town of Asturias Award given out by the Princess of Asturias Foundation.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the family wore masks as they toured the town alongside members of the local government and representatives of the foundation. They visited Villa Radis which was built by Gabino Álvarez in 1900 in the English style before speaking to members of the community who explained the technical aspects of the property.
The royals also had the opportunity to speak to Pablo Martínez, Secretary of the parish of Somao and members of the candidacy for Exemplary Town of Asturias 2020, who gave them a wooden prism with a representative photograph of Somao and “Somao, the names of our people” book.
Next, Their Majesties and Their Royal Highnesses received a tour of La Casona – the large property that overlooks the Cantabrian Sea – by its owner, Alfonso Sandoval. Members of the Somao Celebration Association met them afterwards to present them with shirts and a lottery ticket.
Further tours of Casa El Nocéo and the La Cuadrona exhibition space took place; the exhibit had various tablecloths, aprons and items made of felt. The royals then went to the square to present the award and unveil a plaque where Princess Leonor addressed the crowd where she spoke of the town and ongoing pandemic saying that “being in Somao and seeing how the collective effort to improve the lives of all, makes us feel more hopeful that the situation will improve soon.”
The King also spoke of how Somao was “an example that a prosperous future can be built in the countryside.”
Before departing, the Royal Family stopped by a church where they spoke to the choir and the craftsmen who had made the rugs placed at the exit of the church.
The Exemplary Town of Asturias Award was established in 1990 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Princess of Asturias Foundation. It is given to a town, village, population centre, scenic area or group of people in the Principality of Asturias who have “stood out in a notable way in defending and conserving its natural or environmental setting, its historical, cultural or artistic heritage, in initiative for boosting the economy or in the carrying out of communal works or other such outstanding displays of solidarity,” according to the Princess of Asturias Foundation.