Photo du Prince Philip au Bec d'Allier en 1988

Tribute to Prince Philip, lover of rivers

Photo: Prince Philip visiting the Bec d’Allier, in 1988. Copyright Pierre Jeannin

In 1988, a formula which will make date : ” Vive la Loire Sauvage “

Many people have learned, on April 9th, the death of Prince Philip, husband of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. But fewer remember the important role he played in the protection of the Loire, at the time of the fights led by the Loire Vivante Committee against 4 major dam projects* (more info here, only in french). On October 14, 1988, during a visit to the Bec d’Allier (confluence of the Loire and the Allier), the Prince launched for the first time the famous phrase “Vive la Loire Sauvage”. During this press conference, he said that “the ambitious plans to develop the Loire Valley have attracted a lot of attention, outside of France. And have caused, I must say, some concern. …] We would like to see a reasonable compromise between human interests and the maintenance of conditions that allow the systems and species of the natural environment to survive. […] A reflection is worthwhile to ensure that future generations will not have to bear the consequences of hasty decisions and the cost of unnecessary mistakes. ”

As President Emeritus of WWF International, he was supporting the opponents of the dams, giving a nice media boost to the fight, which was ultimately victorious since the dams were not built.

A commitment also on the Danube

This commitment of the Prince to rivers predates the fights on the Loire… Indeed, as early as 1984, he was present on the Danube, between Vienna and Budapest, a still wild part of the river, threatened at the time by dam projects, and now a National Park!

If we had asked him “Draw us a Salmon”, no doubt this great Prince would have done it with pleasure…

It is with emotion that we pay this tribute to the man in love with rivers that he was.

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