Princess Leonor praises young people who dare to “think differently and take risks”

Fifteen years have passed since the King Felipe and Queen Letiziawhile still Prince and Princess of Asturias, they promoted the creation of the Princess of Girona Foundation, a project of which Princess Leonor is now Honorary President and which, in the words of the Heiress, “grows with strength, determination and results.”

«The impact of its activity is evident in thousands of young people whom the foundation supports to improve their training, find your talentbroaden their vision,” said the Princess of Asturias and Girona, who once again chaired the awards ceremony of this foundation, where she thanked those who promote this project for the work they do daily for the people of their generation, so that they become the driving force of change in Spain and the world: “Thank you for making young people Let us feel a new impulselet us think long and look high, without losing sight of reality, but with hope and energy to continue striving to improve it.”

The Princess of Asturias and Girona presented awards together with Felipe VI, who were accompanied by Queen Letizia and Infanta Sofía, to the architect Antonio Espinosa de los Monteros, who “discovered that there is no greater material poverty than not having drinking water to drink, to wash, to live.” To the chemical engineer Susana Arrechea, who is promoting a project in Guatemala to connect indigenous populations and empower women. To the architect Daniel Millor, a “social craftsman who creates alliances» to work in vulnerable neighbourhoods throughout Spain. She also spoke about evolutionary ecologist Moisés Expósito-Alonso, whom she referred to as «Moi» and who studies how climate change influences «genetic variability» through «little plants». She also highlighted the work of actress Victoria Luengo and chemist Yarivith González.


Princess Leonor during her speech


In a speech she gave in Spanish and Catalan, the eldest daughter of the King and Queen highlighted the successful careers of these young people between 33 and 35 years old and, above all, the challenges they have faced throughout their careers to get to where they are. Bumps in the road that are stories of example and overcoming to become role models for change, an inspiration: “When they felt incapable, ignored or small, they found a reference to hold on to in order to move forward. They understood that they could not move forward alone. They thought differently. They took risks» The Princess summed up her life philosophies with a powerful phrase: «Before making demands, change yourself and change now.»

«Before demanding, change yourself and change now»

Leonor of Bourbon and Ortiz

Felipe VI also took the floor at the event. He addressed the audience in Spanish and Catalan and began with a few words for his daughters: “Leonor, Sofia: thank you. Your mother and I see that you are paying more attention every day to what we do as an institution and to how to continue to improve every day, not only in fulfilling the institutional objectives but in getting involved in other tasks.”

The King celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of the Princess of Girona Foundation and pointed out that this celebration “is a happy coincidence of anniversaries”: “The fifteen years of the Foundation, this first decade of reign and the recent coming of age of Leonor, Princess of Girona and honorary president of the Foundation.” “An opportunity – in the words of the King – for all of us to remember what values ​​guide us and consolidate our commitment to them, so that the Princess and the Infanta continue learning and progressing in their responsibilities, to recognize effort and merit of young referents and to continue supporting and strengthening this Foundation in its work for youth and our shared future».

King Felipe VI and Princess Leonor at the Youth Advisory Council


“I am proud as King and I am excited as a father to hear the words of the Princess, recognizing and admiring the extraordinary work of these six new leaders in innovation, creativity, conviction, perseverance, commitment and, above all, generosity,” said Don Felipe. In this sense, he highlighted the “common denominator” of all of them: “the word ‘Generation’, in reference to the ability to train, support and empower thousands of young people in the present so that they can be the best future for our country.”

The situation of the Crown in Girona

This year’s awards ceremony took place at the Costa Brava Conference Centre in the coastal town of Lloret de Mar, with capacity for around 800 people. Since the situation in Catalonia worsened following the secessionist challenge in October 2017 and the city of Girona declaring persona non grata to the King After addressing the Catalan people on October 3 of that same year, the Royal Family has been in Girona to present the awards on two occasions: last year in Caldas de Malavella and this year in Lloret de Mar.

Although they want to normalize the visits of the Royal Family to Girona, the truth is that the Princess of Girona Foundation has to study and think very well the location of the awards ceremony each year. In addition to the Congress Palace, the events of this important day were held at the Hotel Meliá Lloret. Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofía Yes, they held a meeting outside the complex.which took them to the Santa Clotilde gardens in the morning with other young people from the Foundation.

Another sign that the situation has not yet returned to normal was the fact that at the awards ceremony Did not assist No member of the Generalitat was present. The Royal Family was accompanied by the Minister of Industry, Jordi Hereu, who served as a minister on duty. The winner of the last elections in Catalonia, Salvador Illa, and the mayor of Lloret de Mar, Adrià Lamelas, from the PSC, were also present.

Following the awards ceremony, the Royal Family returned to Madrid, where the Princess will finalise the details of her trip to Portugal tomorrow, which will take place on Friday, when she will travel to Lisbon for her first trip outside Spain as Crown Princess.

The Princess and the Infanta returned home “very happy” about Spain’s new victory at the European Championship, as they themselves commented this morning during a meeting with winners of previous editions of the Princess of Girona Foundation awards. Together with the King and Queen, they watched the match against France in Lloret de Mar. The next day, in the morning, Felipe VI called the coach Luis de la Fuente and the captain, Álvaro Morata. “They celebrated it intensely,” said the King, who confirmed that he will be at the final of the European Championship in Berlin, which will take place next weekend.

In his first improvised words in his speech, Don Felipe said that what he and the Queen had seen in Gerona these days “is a generation, to which Leonor and Sofia belong, with desire, tremendous drive and great ability.” It is the same thing we see in Germany in a team, in an incredible young group that transmits enthusiasm, joy and confidence to us and we hope that on Sunday they achieve what they want.”

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