King Felipe and Queen Letizia arrive at the event accompanied by Princess Leono rand Infanta Sofia. / SUR

Royal awards for arts, science and technology

The Princesa de Asturias awards ceremony was held in the city's Campoamor Theatre and was attended by over a thousand guests


The Princesa de Asturias awards ceremony held last Friday in the Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo was attended by King Felipe VI, Princesa de Asturias - Leonor de Borbón, Queen Letizia, Emeritus Queen Sofía and Infanta Sofía. After her father had opened the event, the princess and heir to the throne praised the winners and made an impressive speech lamenting the changing world but recognising that "the best way to progress is to maintain our enthusiasm for knowledge".

The award winners this year were the Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga, (Prize for Literature), Mexican archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, (Social Sciences), and the British entrepreneur Ellen MacArthur, (International Cooperation).

Spanish flamenco stars Carmen Linares and María Pagés also won awards (Arts) as did Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (Concorde). French computer scientist Yann LeCun, British programmer and designer Demis Hassabis, Canadian computer scientist Yoshua Bengio, British-Canadian cognitive psychologist and computer scientist Geoffrey Hinton all won awards for Technical and Scientific Research.

The young Princesa de Asturias, Leonor de Bourbon, who is currently studying at Atlantic College in Cardiff, Wales, returned to Spain to present the awards. The princess, who has just turned seventeen, was accompanied by her family on this occasion but it is expected that for next year's awards she will be presenting the awards on her own, as did her father when he was eighteen.