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Princess of Girona young entrepreneur awards: Leonor gets standing ovation
By thinkSPAIN Team Tue, Nov 5, 2019
PRINCESS Leonor earned a standing ovation for her speech last night at the second round of awards named after her – the Princess of Girona prizegiving ceremony in, not Girona, but Barcelona.
Leonor (in red in the picture), who turned 14 just six days ago, prepared and delivered her second public speech in her short career as direct heir to the throne – the previous one being the recent Princess of Asturias Awards, Spain's answer to the Nobel Prizes.
Although her 'main' title is Princess of Asturias, she is also known as the Princess of Girona, and the awards bearing this name are for young people, aged between 16 and 35, who have started a business or social organisation which shows creativity and positive change in society, and especially where it has involved a high level of risk or difficulty.
The Social Award goes to young entrepreneurs whose projects encourage integration of marginalised groups, minorities, or those at risk of social exclusion, and this year's went to Begoña Arana Álvarez for her 'social commitment from a very young age'.
The Scientific Research Award went to Xavier Ros-Oton, considered 'one of the most brilliant mathematicians and with the greatest global impact in his age group'.
Rafael Rodríguez Villalobos won the Arts and Letters Award for his 'ability to create universes of profound artistic attraction' and for his 'vision of the opera as a tool for social construction'.
The Business Award goes to young adults with a real, viable and original project, and this was presented to Ignacio Hernández Medrano for his having 'made medical and scientific information democratic and accessible to millions of patients via artificial intelligence'.
Finally, the International Award, which often goes to a winner from outside of Spain for their outstanding work on a global scale, was taken by María Jammal for her 'excellent work as co-founder and managing director of Humanity Crew, an organisation that creates solutions for mental health problems suffered by refugees'.
Princess Leonor bravely stood up in front of thousands, and her father, King Felipe VI, said during his own discourse afterwards, that he would struggle to beat that of his daughter, whose recent début as an 'official' face of the Royal family made him and her mother, Queen Letizia, 'very proud'.
Outside the building, protests were staged in the street by radical pro-secession campaigners and anti-Monarchy demonstrators, meaning security had to be upped for the evening.
But the teenage Crown Princess sought to smooth things over, saying: “Catalunya will always occupy a special place in my heart.”
She received heartfelt applause at that point, and even more enthusiasm from the audience when she had finished.
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