In his speech, Ladero warned against those who intend to write History “to the dictation of political or ideological interests.” “One thing is that history is a source of political and social moral experience and quite another to make experiments at the expense of consciously distorting it,” said the academic of the Royal Academy of History and doctor “honoris causa” by the Universities of La Laguna (Tenerife), Cádiz and Huelva.
The winner of the National History Award in 1994 and author of works such as La guerra de Granada or La España de los Reyes Católicos warned that “you can not have a coherent and global historical knowledge if History is replaced, with a capital letter, by the stories, with tiny, crumbling and fragmented that now seem to predominate in many cultural programs.
As president of the jury and the Royal Council of Orders, Mr. Pedro de Borbón Dos Sicilias stressed that historians “give clues to the way forward to build a better future.” The Duke of Calabria stressed that the work of Ladero reminds us that “the EU is not only a market, not even a determined political order”, but also “a historical and cultural conscience”.
Among those attending the event were the sister of King Juan Carlos, the Infanta Doña Margarita, and her husband, Carlos Zurita, Duke of Soria; the president of Patrimonio Nacional, Alfredo Pérez de Armiñán; the dean of the Diputación de la Grandeza, Enrique Fernández-Miranda, and Miguel Herrero and Rodríguez de Miñón.
The award, instituted by the Spanish Orders of Santiago, Calatrava, Alcántara and Montesa, is endowed with 60,000 euros and distinguishes the historian from any part of the world whose work of historical research has achieved general recognition and that some part of his work is related to the Hispanic and its projection in the world. In its first edition, it fell to the British historian John H. Elliott, to whom Felipe VI presented the prize.
The jury was chaired by the president of the Royal Council of Orders, S.A.R. Don Pedro de Bourbon Two Sicilies and Orleans, Duke of Calabria. Alfredo Pérez de Armiñán de la Serna acted as members of the jury, president of National Heritage and academic of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando; Carmen Iglesias Cano, countess of Gisbert and director of the Royal Academy of History; Hugo O’Donnell Duke of Estrada, Duke of Tetuán and censor of the Royal Academy of History; Feliciano Barrios Pintado, secretary of the Royal Academy of History; Luis Antonio Ribot García, academic of the Royal Academy of History; Juan Manuel González Serna, sponsor; Carlos de Palacio and Oriol, collaborator; Juan-Miguel Villar Mir, Marquis of Villar Mir, member of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and collaborator; John Huxtable Elliott, as an award winner in the previous edition; Marcelino Oreja Aguirre, Marqués de Oreja, academic and honorary president of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences; Manuel Gullón de Oñate, Count of Tepa and gentleman of His Holiness; and Íñigo Moreno de Arteaga, Marqués de Laserna and correspondent of the Royal Academy of History. Álvaro Mariátegui Valdés served as secretary and Íñigo Churruca de Bonilla, as treasurer.