Felipe and Letizia in USA

  October 9, 2009 at 7:57 am by

The Prince and Princess of Asturias arrived on Sunday in the USA to start a three-day visit to New Mexico and Chicago.

Their Royal Highnesses visited on Monday the new facilities of the National Hispanic Cultural Centre in Albuquerque, and the Cervantes Institute, which was inaugurated by the Prince and Princess in their visit in 2004.

Afterward they went to New Mexico Univiersity (they already visited in 2004) where they had a meeting with the Advisory committee of the Prince of Asturias Endowed Chair at Zimmermans Library. The Prince of Asturias Endowed Chair, which this year goes to Fernándo Pérez-Gómez, was created in honor of the heir to the Spanish Crown, and its aim is to promote collaboration between Spanish and U.S. scholars by “bringing a preeminent Spanish scientist to the University of New Mexico to engage in teaching and research in information science and technology.”

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At the end of the day Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia attended a dinner that New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and his wife Barbara Richardson hosted in their honor in their official residence in Santa Fe. The dinner was also attended by the First Lady of Mexico, Margarita Zabala.

On Tuesday, Felipe and Letizia attend the major event of their visit to New Mexico, the City of Santa Fe’s 400th anniversary celebrations. As heir to the Spanish Crown, Prince Felipe, declared his joy and honour to represent Spain, together with the Princess, in the ceremonies that commemorate the Founding of the capital of “this beautiful and fascinating” State of New Mexico.

“Those events of the early 17th century gave birth to a magnificent city, which was built throughout the centuries by hard working and hospitable people who are proud of their past and determined to contribute to their country’s best future,” Prince Felipe said.

Once the celebrations ceremony had concluded, Felipe and Letizia left a floral tribute at the tomb of Don Diego de Vargas, late governor of Mexico in the XVII century, which is located in a park inside the Cathedral of San Francisco de Asis, and visited the monument dedicated to the 400th anniversary.

On Wednesday, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, were in Chicago to inaugurate the new Cervantes Institute. This institution is the largest in the world dedicated to the teaching of the Spanish language and culture, with 54 centres in twenty countries.

After a short visit to the Institute, the royal couple took a walk in Millennium Park, where they had the opportunity to see “La fuente de las Mil Caras” monument made by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.

Chicago’s Mayor, Richard M. Daley and his wife Maggie Daley, hosted a lunch for the Prince and Princess at Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Prior to returning to Madrid, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia met with the Spaniards living in Chicago, to celebrate, beforehand, the Spanish National Day which will be celebrated in Spain on Monday 12 October.

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