Petr Pavel at Prague Castle. Credit: Petr Pavel, via Facebook.

President Pavel To Award Over 60 Recipients To Mark Czechoslovak Independence Day

This will be the first time Pavel has presented the Independence Day awards since he became president in March. Credit:

Prague, Oct 27 (CTK) – Czech President Petr Pavel will present state awards to more than 60 personalities on Saturday, Presidential Office head Jana Vohralikova told journalists today. She added that more than 400 people were nominated for the awards.

Last year, President Milos Zeman awarded 78 people during the traditional ceremony at Prague Castle. In previous years, the number of awards was around 40.

The Presidential Office does not release the names of the awarded citizens until the ceremony. However, former Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg told daily Pravo that he would receive the highest award, the Order of the White Lion. According to daily Lido noviny, other recipients could include singer and guitarist Vladimir Misik, Roma singer Ida Kelarova and former prime minister and lawyer Petr Pithart.

This will be the first time Pavel has presented the state awards on 28 October, Czechoslovak Independence Day, since he became president in March.

Vohralikova said the ceremony would conform to current practice and no major changes to the program are planned. About 700 guests are expected to attend the ceremony in the Vladislav Hall and another 2,000 in the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle.

Former President Zeman told CNN Prima News earlier this week that he would not attend the ceremony at Prague Castle on Saturday, but confirmed he would attend two other events which were related to 28 October.

“It is a shame in any case, because he is a former head of state and it seems to me that former heads of state should be at ceremonies like this,” said Vohralikova. Zeman’s predecessor, Vaclav Klaus, will attend the Vladislav Hall as in previous years.

Guests will include representatives of the government, the leaders of both houses of parliament and of their committees and groups, rectors, diplomats and church leaders, in addition to those awarded and their companions.

The Old Royal Palace, the Story of Prague Castle exhibition and the Royal Garden will be closed all day on Saturday. From 3pm, the entire Prague Castle grounds will be closed to the public, with the last entry to the buildings at 2:30pm, according to information posted on Twitter.

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