By Linda Hall • 13 May 2021 • 18:27
ROYAL VISIT: King Felipe, Francisco Brines and Queen Letizia
Photo credit: casareal.es
SPAIN’S King Felipe, accompanied by Queen Letizia, visited Oliva (Valencia) to present this year’s Cervantes Prize for Literature.
The award went to the poet Francisco Brines and ordinarily the prize-winner would have been present at the ceremony that is held each year on April 23 in Alcala de Henares (Madrid), but Brines’ delicate state of health prevented this.
Nor was he able to travel to Valencia City when the regional president Ximo Puig offered the Palau de la Generalitat palace as a closer alternative.
Instead, King Felipe and the Queen last week presented the award in person at Brines’ home in L’Elca in Oliva, which has inspired much of his poetry.
The poet was not told of the impending royal visit until the previous day to avoid “unnecessary anxiety” his family explained.
Francisco Brines, who was born in Oliva in 1932 and has a degree in Law, Philosophy, Literature and History, was Reader in Spanish Literature at Cambridge and Professor of Spanish at Oxford. He has an honorary doctorate from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and is a Member of Spain’s Royal Academy.
The formal part of the visit concluded, the King told Brines, “What a pleasure it is to be able to come here and, above all, thank you for inviting us to your home” describing it as a “little paradise.”
The poet showed the royal couple his gardens with their privileged view of the Montgo mountain and, before they left, presented them with his collected poems, “Ensayo de una despedida” (Rehearsal of a farewell).
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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