Czech President Petr Pavel to Present State Awards to Over 60 Honorees on Czechoslovak Independence Day

Czech President Petr Pavel is set to bestow state awards upon more than 60 distinguished personalities in a significant ceremony to be held on October 28th, Czechoslovak Independence Day. The announcement was made by Jana Vohralikova, head of the Presidential Office, during a press briefing.

This year’s award ceremony marks a notable increase in the number of recipients compared to previous years. In 2021, former President Milos Zeman honored 78 individuals during the traditional ceremony at Prague Castle. Historically, the number of awards presented was around 40, making this year’s event particularly special with its recognition of a broader range of outstanding contributors to Czech society.

While the Presidential Office keeps the names of the awardees confidential until the ceremony, former Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg has revealed that he will be receiving the highest award, the Order of the White Lion. Media reports also suggest that notable figures like singer and guitarist Vladimir Misik, Roma singer Ida Kelarova, and former prime minister and lawyer Petr Pithart may be among the recipients.

This ceremony is significant for President Pavel as it will be the first time he presents state awards on Czechoslovak Independence Day since he assumed office in March. The event will uphold current practices, and no major program changes are anticipated. Approximately 700 guests are expected to attend the ceremony in the historic Vladislav Hall, while an additional 2,000 will participate in the proceedings in the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle.

It’s worth noting that former President Zeman has chosen not to attend the ceremony at Prague Castle this year. However, he confirmed his participation in two other events related to Czechoslovak Independence Day. The decision raised some eyebrows, with Vohralikova expressing her views that former heads of state should attend such ceremonies.

The ceremony will host a diverse array of guests, including government representatives, leaders of both houses of parliament, committee and group leaders, university rectors, diplomats, and religious leaders, in addition to the awardees and their companions.

In preparation for the event, certain areas of Prague Castle, such as the Old Royal Palace, the Story of Prague Castle exhibition, and the Royal Garden, will be closed throughout the day. Additionally, the entire Prague Castle grounds will be off-limits to the public from 3pm, with the last entry to the buildings permitted until 2:30pm, as per information posted on Twitter. This ensures a smooth and secure execution of the award ceremony on this momentous occasion.

Article by Prague Forum

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