President Jorge Azcón Delivers The Medal Of Aragon To Princess Leonor, Future Queen of Spain

The Princess of Asturias, Leonor de Borbón, and the President of Aragon, Jorge Azcón, in one of the ceremonies of the day in which she received tributes from the main institutions of Aragon and Zaragoza, this Tuesday in the capital of Aragon. / Javier Cebollada
The medal of Aragon was presented to Princess Leonor of Asturias, future Queen of Spain by the hand of the President of Aragon, Jorge Azcón. The full transcript of his speech transcribed on the article.
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Transcript Speech

Your Highness, Minister of Defense, former presidents of Aragon, president of the Cortes, Government delegate, Mayor of Zaragoza, Justice of Aragon, Archbishop of Zaragoza, members of the Government of Aragon, authorities, ladies and gentlemen:

Aragon has built its history around the values ​​of pact, loyalty and freedom, respecting, as a higher good, the sovereignty of citizens, equal in rights and obligations before the law.

Those who walked before us on the soil of our land were always able to find common ground in Justice and Law, as well as in the effort and commitment to carry out the noble task of progressing together.

Menéndez Pelayo put it quite rightly:

“In two ways,” he wrote, “you Aragonese have exalted human conscience: by dictating wise laws and by dying for them. Wherever there are oppressed peoples, there the name of Zaragoza will be invoked eternally; wherever there is an example of wise institutions, of civil rectitude and heroic strength, there the name of Aragon will shine…”

Today, Princess Leonor, we have the immense honour of having you here in this emblematic place, which brings together the feelings of the Aragonese towards the most established ties in our history and in our collective memory.

Their presence here, in the Seo del Salvador, is an unequivocal symbol of belonging and loyalty to the common cause of Spain.

We Aragonese go about our daily business with the tranquility of good and loyal people, alongside the Constitution, marked by the life experience of those who have nothing to hide and who staunchly defend the inalienable principles of unity and equality.

And here, Madam, is the outstanding reason for our pride as Aragonese that you have agreed to be included in the select list of those awarded the Medal of Aragon.

A list that was opened on June 23, 1989, by his father the King, then Prince of Asturias, Don Felipe, who received the Medal from the hands of President Gómez de la Roces, who was present at this ceremony today.

Your Highness, when, upon reaching the age of majority, you swore before the Cortes Generales to faithfully perform your duties, to uphold and enforce the Constitution and the laws, and to respect the rights of citizens and of the Autonomous Communities, as well as to be faithful to the King, we Aragonese became aware of the sensitive dimension of that historic moment.

And we understood it to be directly related to an integrative feeling, widely shared in Aragon, of connection with the Spanish nation.

The continuity of the Head of State was thus strengthened as a symbol of unity and permanence of our country.

Today, Madam, we, the people of Aragon in particular, are taking another step towards this endeavour with this event, also historic for our people, in which we receive the highest recognition from our Autonomous Community.

It is an honour for all of us and, far from thinking that we are different from other territories in Spain, we approach it with a clear message of brotherhood and understanding.

That Her Royal Highness receives the Medal of Aragon, the Medal of the Cortes of Aragon and the title of Adopted Daughter of Zaragoza calls upon us Aragonese to persevere in the essential commitment of all to the general interests.

A responsibility that must necessarily be shared in order to respect legitimate democratic powers as a way of ensuring constitutional order, the normal functioning of institutions and the rule of law.

And to achieve this, the role of the Crown is essential.

You have arrived here this morning, Your Highness, leaving from the Aljafería Palace, the historic residence of the kings of Aragon and today the seat of our regional parliaments.

Centuries ago, the dazzling ceremony that concluded in the Seo, in this same space, with the coronation of the Aragonese kings began there.

In the words of Pedro IV, Zaragoza was to the Crown of Aragon what Rome was to the ancient emperors.

I mention it because precisely this king, the Ceremonious, created, on January 21, 1353, the title of Duke of Gerona, which Ferdinand I decided to increase by passing from duke to prince.

So, Your Highness, it makes clear to us that, together with the dignity of Princess of Asturias, as stated in article 57.2 of the Constitution, she holds the other titles traditionally linked to the successor to the Crown of Spain. Among them, that of Princess of Gerona.

Doña Leonor: You came of age in Zaragoza during your training at the General Military Academy and, madam, this fact will be with you forever. And so will we, the Aragonese.

That is why we wanted our greatest symbols of distinction to be in your hands, Your Highness.

For centuries, we Aragonese have offered our support to build a common project; a solidarity effort that comes directly from our struggle against the elements, a clean look from those who always go straight, a way of going through life that seeks in honesty and integrity its hallmarks.

Your Highness, know that building Aragon has been, is and will always be exactly the same as working for Spain.

And, as a demonstration of what I have expressed, I request your presence here to present you, on behalf of all Aragonese, with affection, love, commitment and loyalty, the Medal of Aragon.

Thank you so much

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