Forty years recognising excellence

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Forty years have passed since the signing of the founding charter of the Princess of Asturias Foundation in Oviedo, a small, ancient city in northern Spain. In the present times of uncertainty, the commitment assumed by the institution that 24th September 1980, namely to recognize excellence through the work of men and women who contribute to progress, to the construction of better and more just societies, is today a stronger conviction than ever.

As a symbol of this commitment, the Foundation has been granting the Princess of Asturias Awards since 1981, awards that bear this title which originated in the 14th century and held by the heirs to the Spanish throne. The awards are an exaltation of effort and knowledge, of culture as a driving force of development and an element of social cohesion, in addition to offering a message of hope for the future.

This was underlined by the Foundation’s Honorary President, Her Royal Highness The Princess of Asturias, in her first speech to the Laureates in 2019, “Thank you for promoting culture and science, for fostering solidarity, for improving education. Thank you for working to preserve nature and reduce injustice, discrimination, poverty and disease. Your work reminds us that there are millions of people who think and act to make a better world.”

Faithful to these principles and values, we endeavour with renewed enthusiasm in each edition of our Awards to extol and share this work with society as a whole. We work, in short, as His Majesty King Felipe VI put it at the 2015 Awards Ceremony, with the wish for “the thirst for knowledge and understanding, the passion for discovery, creation or imagination, and the drive to excel to be the authentic drivers of progress and civilization; always within a spirit of concord among cultures and in harmony with our planet.”

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