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Palabras de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias en la Huntington Library con ocasión de la vista a la exposición "Fray Junípero Serra y el Legado de las Misiones de California"

San Marino. Los Ángeles. California (EE.UU.), 16.11.2013

T

​he Princess and I are deeply moved by your hospitality and the warmth with which you have welcomed us to the Huntington Library.

The magnificent exhibition, organized under the direction of Professor Hackel, truly enhances the achievements of Fray Junípero Serra, who was born in the Balearic Island of Mallorca.

The Franciscan missionaries conceived their task as part of a plan of integration, of including the Native Americans in the Spanish society of those days. This was the mission given to them by my ancestor King Charles III.

The efforts of the Spanish explorers, missionaries and settlers left a network of cities, missions, forts, not only in California but all over the South West of the United States.

It is a legacy that has acquired even more relevance in our days, when over 50 million Americans share a Hispanic cultural background.

As the Spaniards travelled throughout this great country they expanded their culture and wherever they settled they would name cities, rivers, mountain ranges... all with Spanish names.

One of the best examples is the original name of the City of Los Ángeles, founded in 1781 by Felipe de Neves, Governor of the Californias: el Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Rio de Porciuncula.  Luckily for all of us, it has been shortened to just LA.

The fact that in 2013 we celebrate both in Spain and in the US not only the 300 Anniversary of the birth of Father Serra, but also the 500 Anniversary of the landing in Florida of Juan Ponce de León, as well as the 500 Anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean “El Mar del Sur” to European eyes by Núñez de Balboa, has given us a wonderful occasion to reflect on our shared History and to bring our already excellent bilateral cooperation to even higher levels.

The exemplary collaboration between Spanish Institutions and the Huntington Library in the organization of this exhibition is in itself a clear testimony of the strength of the bonds that unite our two countries.

Mr. President, let me express my admiration and my gratitude for your contribution ‒and that of Professor Hackel‒ to the cause of enlightening the common History of the US and Spain and the strong linkages between our peoples,

Last but not least, let me offer a toast to you and to the members of the Board of this magnificent Huntington Library.

Thank you very much.

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