Toespraak van Prins Constantijn bij de online prijsuitreiking van de Prins Claus Prijzen 2020 in Amsterdam

De toespraak is uitgesproken in het Engels.

I am lonely in this grand hall. Where are you all? Meeting you here, welcoming the laureates, listening to your stories, wisdom, and insights, is one of the highlights of my year. People meeting people. Having fun. Connecting for new collaborations.

But not this year.

Mr Covid or Mrs Covid is keeping us apart.

But it takes more to achieve this. We simply have too much in common and too much to share to be driven apart. This event is just a symbolic moment where we connect from all over the globe, to celebrate  7  exceptional laureates, as we welcome them into the community that is you.  

We may be in different places but strongly connected around our common cause: celebrating human creativity, ingenuity, dignity, bravery, empathy and solidarity. From wherever you are calling in, be it your homes, your office, a Dutch embassy or other place, let this be a moment of celebration of diversity and inclusiveness, of change and continuity, and all of this, that makes us deeply human and connected. Because we need it.

Laureates are the embodiment of these ideas. They do it in different ways - through visual arts - sculpture, fashion design and film, through independent radio and music & dance, raising discussions, informing people, reminding them of their history, but also fighting for a better life and more promising futures.

This year’s laureates show us (again) that there is no minimum or maximum age for creativity, no group or culture or nation that holds a monopoly on inspiration. Everywhere there are artists and cultural practitioners whose positive work locally forms the thread that stitches their societies together.

But enough prelude - time to end the suspense and start introducing the remarkable people that the Prince Claus Fund is honouring today. And we know that we cannot do justice to them in this way. And we would have loved to celebrate them here. We would have loved to bring you all here in Amsterdam, but this is the way it is. Allow me to congratulate the 2020 Prince Claus Laureates.