Thursday, 23 October 2014

Prince to Princess

The Prince of Asturias Awards were set up in 1980 to recognise achievement in a wide range of areas and for thirty four years they have carried that name.  But from next year, it's all change. Spain has a new heir to the throne and from 2015 the prizes will be named after her. Next year the Princess of Asturias Awards will take over Oviedo.

Leonor, Princess of Asturias will give her name to some major awards in Spain as of 2015

The title Prince of Asturias has been given to the heir to the Spanish throne for centuries - the first creation was in 1388 for the first in line to the throne of Castile, Henry, and his English wife, Catherine of Lancaster.  Leonor isn't the first Princess in her own right.  Isabella, sister of Alfonso XII, was proclaimed heiress and Princess of Asturias in 1875.  When her brother became father of a daughter, Maria de las Mercedes, in 1881 she became heiress and a few months afterwards was given the title of Princess of Asturias.  She remained first in line to the throne all her life - her younger brother was born Alfonso XIII and she died before he had a family of his own to fill up the line of succession.

Maria de las Mercedes, Princess of Asturias

Isabella and Maria came close to being queen but lived in an age where a male heir was all.  As such, despite their popularity, they were always overshadowed in their own royal families. But Leonor lives in a different age where Europe is filled with females waiting to inherit thrones.  So changing the names of these major awards is simply another step to recognising that in the 21st century, it's all about princesses.

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