Leonor de Borbón is about to face what is probably the most important week of the year as heir. This Monday, together with her sister Sofía, the Kings of Spain accompany their parents in the celebration of October 12, an appointment that has long been marked on their particular calendar. And from Thursday, when he will arrive in Oviedo and until Saturday, he will participate in the events organized around the awards that bear his name, which he attends for the second time. It was last year when he made his debut at the Campoamor theater where he gave his first speech. On this occasion, the award ceremony has undergone significant changes due to the pandemic.
The heiress faces the Oviedo appointment with less pressure than in the previous edition. In the last 12 months the princess of Asturias has had a more leading role. He has accompanied his parents in several official appointments and has participated in some initiatives related to the pandemic such as the message he sent to young people in which his sister was also. All this when Leonor de Borbón is about to turn 15, something that will happen on October 31.
Leonor has experienced firsthand the consequences of the pandemic. A classmate at the Nuestra Señora de los Rosales school suffered from the coronavirus and her entire class was confined only three days after starting the school year. After the pertinent quarantine and the corresponding tests, the heiress returned to her school.
One of the unknowns of the week is whether her grandmother, Doña Sofía, will accompany her this year at the awards ceremony in Oviedo, which will not be held at the Campoamor Theater but at the Covadonga Room of the La Reconquista hotel, a place that is closely linked to the history of the Princess of Asturias Foundation, as the institution’s charter was signed on September 24, 1980. The new setting with a reduced number of attendees will probably advise the queen emerita to leave. And it is that the act will be without public. The trustees of the institution and the relatives of the winners will be able to follow the event through screens installed in another room of the hotel.
This year the Spanish toilets have been awarded the Princess of Asturias Awards for their work against Covid-19 (Concordia), the composers Ennio Morricone and John Williams (Arts); the Canadian poet Anne Carson (Letters) and the mathematicians Yves Meyer, Emmanuel Candès, Ingrid Daubechies and Terence Tao (Scientific and Technical Research). The list of winners is completed by the Guadalajara International Book Fair and the Hay Festival of Literature & Arts (Communication and Humanities; the Turkish economist Dani Rodrik (Social Sciences); the pilot Carlos Sainz (Sports), and the World Alliance for the Vaccination (GAVI) (International Cooperation).
The visit to Asturias will end on Saturday in Somao for the award to the Exemplary People of Asturias 2020. This appointment has also been reduced and the traditional lunch has been suspended.
In her debut at the Campoamor Theater, Leonor was quite calm and confident when delivering her speech. Queen Letizia revealed days before that date that the one who was most nervous was the King. He had had that experience at the same age. Leonor prepared her first intervention with the help of her mother, who taught her to pause, to emphasize some phrases and to look at someone when the text required it.
Leonor is studying the fourth year of Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO). She is a good student who, in addition to the ordinary tasks of her school, adds other activities and languages. He speaks English very fluently, as his father has recounted, and is learning French. She began to study Chinese and some Arabic, but her parents want her to be familiar with the languages of the Spanish state first. As a child, I already read stories in Catalan. Leonor is a great reader who seems to be very interested in the Humanities but this year she has opted for science subjects as her preferred subjects.