The Royal Family will be in Girona next July 5th. Seven years after Felipe VI was declared persona non grata by the Girona city council, the Kings and their daughters return to the province although they will not have public activity in the capital. As the Princess of Girona Foundation has announced, the prizes that they give out every year will once again do so in the place where one of Doña Leonor’s most important titles is born. This time, the Royal Family will be in Caldes de Malavella, where the awards will be presented.
The Girona Conference Center hosted on June 29, 2017 the Last edition of the awards that were made in a public space of the Girona town hall. Three months later, the independence referendum and the process acquired the moment of greatest tension. An attack on the institutions on which the King, as a symbol of national unity, spoke out in a speech on October 3. He completely changed the relationship with Catalonia, especially with Girona, which declared Felipe VI persona non grata and stopped inviting events, so that institutional activity there was reduced to zero.
In 2018, the authorities alleged some works to deny the use of its Palace of Congresses to the Foundation. Then, the Roca brothers gave up their space so that the Kings could deliver the distinctions, which reward young talent under 30 years of age in five different categories. Due to the criticism that the chefs received at the time, the Foundation moved the awards to Barcelona the following year. The official excuse was that it was the tenth anniversary of the awards and they wanted to celebrate in Barcelona, to hold a gala in a space with a larger capacity. Then the pandemic arrived and in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 editions the awards they continued in Barcelona. It was claimed that the city was better connected so that the winners could come from different parts of the world.
However, in the 2022 edition something changed. The Princess of Asturias and Girona visited the Dalí Museum in Figueres the day before the Awards ceremony. It was the first time that Doña Leonor set foot in the province, a kind of experiment to see what would happen. And nothing happened on the ground. Barely a dozen independentistas They protested their presence, but their whistles were covered by approximately two hundred people applauding the Princess and her sister, Infanta Leonor.
That the Kings return to the province of Girona is one more step towards the much-proclaimed institutional normality. However, that they cannot celebrate the awards in the capital is a contradiction about that normality. Discarded and public spaces of the city where he governs Marta Madrenas, of Junst per Catalunya, this year the delivery ceremony will take place at the Camiral hotel, in Caldes de Malavella, a town governed by the independentistas.