On January 16, 2012, His Majesty King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain along with Their Royal Highnesses Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Asturias welcomed French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Zarzuela Palace in Madrid.
During the visit President Sarkozy was awarded Spain’s highest honor, The Order of the Golden Fleece, for his “…cooperation in the fight against the armed Basque separatist group ETA.” During the ceremony President Sarkozy gave a speech in which he stated:
I convey my pride and that of all France, for having been in recent years, with the Spanish people to defend the rule of law against terrorism and to eradicate the blackmail, extortion, assault and murder. In this moment, my thoughts turn to the many victims of decades of violence. Thinking the first to them, is what I wanted-all the French Government to spare no effort in helping Spain to permanently close the bloody chapter of terrorism ETA.
I want to reassure you, Majesty, and the President Mariano Rajoy, the total commitment, consistent and seamless, of France with Spain in the fight against terrorism in all its forms. There are no more Pyrenees in the fight against terrorism. On both sides of our border is a single determination and the same objective: to put a definitive end to the senseless violence.
For his part, His Majesty stressed that “…we are committed to Europe and we are very aware of the fundamental importance of Franco-Spanish cooperation in the project of European integration in all its facets and dimensions.”
His Majesty also noted that President Sarkozy and France, in its relationship with Spain, has “…consistently contributed, effective and generous to fight terrorism while taking victims as North and the end of your solidarity which leads to a strong and effective partnership the largest political, judicial and police between our two countries to end terrorist violence.” As a Knight of the Golden Fleece, “…we recognize as the most representative of a great nation and neighboring friend who has ceaselessly promoted closer ties between our two countries in all fields.”
Prior to the presentation of the Order of the Golden Fleece, His Majesty King Juan Carlos I held a private meeting with President Sarkozy. Later in the afternoon, His Majesty and Queen Sofia of Spain along with Their Royal Highnesses Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia hosted a luncheon in honor of President Sarkozy.
To watch a video as well as to view photos please click the links below:
Recently, Their Serene Highnesses Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein hosted the traditional New Year’s reception held at Vaduz Castle. Over 580 guests attended the event along with Prince Hans-Adam II and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein. During the reception the princely family mingled with local dignitaries as well as ordinary people.
On January 16, 2012, Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde of Belgium attended the Bien Vivre avec Alzheimer dans sa ville et son Environnement (Living Well with Alzheimer’s in the city and its Environment) Awards in Brussels.
Organized by the European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID) this award aims to improve the publics perception of Alzheimer’s disease and to promote solidarity at local level. In addition, the initiative aims to contribute to improving the quality of life of patients and their families.
In the past, the princess has drawn attention to the major challenges to which Alzheimer’s poses in our society and the importance of paying attention on how to deal with this disease as well as to promote the quality of life of people with living with Alzheimer’s.
On Tuesday, January 17, 2012, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco will attend a series of lectures at the Scott Polar Institute as well as attend a gala dinner at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, to commemorate the late South Pole explorer, Robert Falcon Scott.
Whilst at the Scott Polar Institute Prince Albert will also view the exhibition, These Rough Notes: Captain Scott’s Last Expedition, which “…tells the full story of the fateful Terra Nova expedition…” through the letters and journals of Scott and his crew who “…who perished on their way back from the Pole..”
During a series of lectures the prince will meet with meet Sir Ranulph Fiennes, polar explorer and writer, who will speak on the topic of challenges to the polar regions. The Prince will also attend a presentation by Mr. David Crane, writer, and Max Jones, a professor at the University of Manchester.
At the gala dinner Prince Albert, along with the Duke of Edinburgh — making his first appearance since being released from the hospital — will meet with the Robert Falcon Scott’s descendants to discuss the late explorers life and much more.
To learn more about the exhibition, These Rough Notes: Captain Scott’s Last Expedition, please click here.