2023 Princess of Asturias Awards, King Felipe's Final Year To Chair the Awards and Foundation

 2023 Princess of Asturias Awards

The Spanish royals - King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, Queen Emerita Sofia, Leonor, the Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofia attended the annual Princess of Asturias Awards on October 20, 2023, in Oviedo, Spain. 

This will be King Felipe's last year to chair the awards and the foundation as he will turn over the responsibilities to his daughter, Princess Leonor, who will turn 18 this month.

2023 Princess of Asturias Awards
From left: Queen Emerita Sofia, the Princess of Asturias, King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, and Infanta Sofia. Photo credit: The Spanish Royal House

The Princess of Asturias Awards, Spain's most prestigious awards, recognize achievements in scientific, technical, cultural, social, and humanitarian work internationally. They are conferred in eight categories: the Arts, Social Sciences, Communication and Humanities, Concord, International Cooperation, Sports, Technical and Scientific Research, and Literature.

The Princess of Asturias Awards (Spanish: Premios Princesa de Asturias, Asturian: Premios Princesa d'Asturies), are a series of annual prizes awarded in Spain by the Princess of Asturias Foundation (previously the Prince of Asturias Foundation) to individual, entities or organizations from around the world who make notable achievements in the sciences, humanities, and public affairs.

2023 Princess of Asturias Awards
Queen Emerita Sofia and her granddaughters, the Princess of Asturias and Infanta Sofia

The awards are presented every October in a solemn ceremony at Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias, and are presented by the Princess of Asturias. 

Each recipient present at the ceremony receives a diploma, a sculpture expressly created for the awards by Spanish sculptor Joan Miró, and a pin with the emblem of the Foundation. A monetary prize of €50,000 is also given for each category; this amount is shared if the category has more than one recipient.

This year's recipients:

Arts - Meryl Streep (American actress), she's the holder of three Academy Awards (Oscars), eight Golden Globes, two BAFTAs, and three Emmys. After more than forty years of her acting career, Meryl Streep is considered one of the best contemporary actresses.

2023 Princess of Asturias Awards
Meryl Streep

The Princess of Asturias Awards Jury chose her for dignifying the art of acting and ensuring that ethics and coherence transcend through her work, with the virtue of emphasizing that human beings, and specifically women, must resound and attract attention on the basis of their uniqueness, of their being different.

Communication and Humanities - A post-humous award to Nuccio Ordine who died on June 10, 2023, from a stroke at the age of 64. He was an Italian Philosopher, writer, and expert in literary theory, and was recognized worldwide as one of the leading experts on Renaissance thought and literature, and, specifically, on the figure of Neapolitan humanist Giordano Bruno. 

2023 Princess of Asturias Awards
Nuccio Ordine

The jury chose him for his defense of the humanities and his commitment to education and values rooted in European thought which is universal in scale.

Literature - Haruki Murakami (Japanese best-selling author). He is the author of Norwegian Wood, 1Q84, Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World, After Dark. Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and Kafka On The Shore, among others. 

2023 Princess of Asturias Awards
Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan on January 12, 1949. The Jury chose him for the uniqueness of his literature, its universal scope, and the ability to reconcile Japanese tradition and the legacy of Western culture in an ambitious and innovative narrative, which has managed to express some of the great themes and conflicts of our time: loneliness, existential uncertainty, terrorism and dehumanization in big cities, as well as the care of one’s body and his own reflections on the creative process. His voice has influenced considerably diverse generations. 

Social Sciences - A posthumous award to French historian and politician Hélène Zourabichvili Carrere D'Encausse who died on August 5, 2023, at the age of 94. She was born in Paris, France to an immigrant family, a Georgian father, and a German-Russian mother. 

2023 Princess of Asturias Awards
Hélène Zourabichvili Carrere D'Encausse

The work of Hélène Zourabichvili Carrère d’Encausse probably constitutes the most substantive contribution made in recent decades to our knowledge of the Soviet Union and Russia, an essential subject matter for understanding the contemporary world. 

She dealt with relations between the European Union and Russia when serving as a member of the European Parliament. She was one of the most brilliant, original, and distinguished figures of French historiography and contemporary European thought.

Sports: Eliud Kipchoge (Kenyan). He is a Kenyan current Olympic marathon champion. He has held the world record for this event, set at the 2022 Berlin Marathon, until October 2023. With a time of 2:01:09, he cut thirty seconds off the previous record, which he himself had set in this competition in 2018. 

2023 Princess of Asturias Awards
Eliud Kipchoge

The Jury has valued the figure of the athlete as a role model in world athletics and as the best marathon runner of all time. In addition to his successes as an athlete, he carries out meaningful social work through the foundation that bears his name, which is dedicated to facilitating access to early childhood education and protecting the environment.

International Cooperation: Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. This is a non-profit organization whose main objective is to discover and develop treatments for diseases considered “neglected” or ignored and for others related to poverty and underdevelopment. 

In its twenty-year history, the initiative has developed numerous treatments for these serious diseases. Its strategy includes an ambitious plan to develop new drugs and treatments that will improve healthcare and save millions of lives worldwide.

Technical and Scientific Research: Awarded to Jeffrey Gordon, E. Peter Greenberg, and Bonnie Bassler. They are American biologists. 

Jeffrey Gordon has spearheaded the study of the human microbiome, the set of microorganisms that inhabit our intestines (tens of trillions: several times more than the total number of our own cells), and their influence on human health, not only in nutrition, digestion, and metabolism (diabetes, obesity, malnutrition) but also in the immune and neurological development of children and young people.

2023 Princess of Asturias Awards
American biologists Jeffrey Gordon, E. Peter Greenberg, and Bonnie Bassler.

Bonnie L. Bassler and E. Peter Greenberg are pioneers in the study of inter-bacterial communication through the emission of certain substances and how the formation of large groups generates behavior that differs from that produced when they are isolated. 

Concord: Awarded to Mary's Meals, a British non-profit organization based in the Scottish town of Dalmally. Mary’s Meals primarily aims to provide a daily school meal to school-age children in eighteen of the world’s poorest countries. 

Founded in 2002 by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, its origins date back to 1992, when the Bosnian war instilled in Magnus and his brother Fergus the need to help people affected by the conflict. 

The Jury has chosen Mary’s Meals for its exemplary dedication to alleviating some of the most pressing problems in today’s world. Mary’s Meals provides food each day to more than two million children in crisis zones on three continents, at the same time as fostering school attendance.

Congratulations to all the recipients of the 2023 Princess of Asturias Awards

During the ceremony, Her Royal Highness Leonor, the Princess of Asturias delivered a speech saying, "I want to thank all the winners for making the Awards that bear my name encourage us to walk a shared and hopeful path, without evading efforts and with responsibility".

Princess Leonor will formally take over the chairmanship of the Princess of Asturias Foundation and Awards (including the Princess of Girona Foundation and Awards) on October 31, 2023, on her 18th birthday. 

By then, she will also officially proclaim as her father's heir. It's not known however if King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia will organize an 18th Birthday Celebration, just like that of Prince Christian of Denmark and Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, for their eldest child.

Prior to the Princess of Asturias Awarding Ceremony, the Spanish Royals had a meet-and-greet with the recipients and representatives at the Hotel de la Reconquista in Oviedo. 

For the meeting, Princess Leonor wore a pink shirt midi-dress from Simorra and a pair of nude pumps from Mascaro.

During the awards night, Princess Leonor wore a navy tweed jacket with a pleated skirt from Moisés Nieto, and a pair of slingback suede navy pumps from Mascaro.

Princess Leonor, King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, and Infanta Sofia at the meet-and-greet with the Princess of Asturias Awards recipients and representatives

Queen Letizia and her daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia

Meryl Streep and Princess Leonor

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