It was February 9, 1970: Prince Philip and his son Charles were invited to chair the opening session of the Council of Europe, along with other European princes, for the promotion of the environment. The Duke of Edinburgh, who disappeared this Friday, April 9, was 48 years old at the time.
This Monday, February 9, what was then called the Europe House (destroyed in 1977) accommodates no less than five princes, invited to preside over the opening session. As the Last News from Alsace recounted at the time, “Prince Philip of Edinburgh and his son Charles, Prince of Wales, came by special plane from the Royal Squadron”. They are joined by Prince Charles of Luxembourg, Prince Bernhardt of the Netherlands and Prince Albert of Liège.
Prince Philip and his son Charles in Strasbourg
On the platform, speeches follow one another which resonates strangely with current events. 51 years ago, we were already talking about environmental protection, rampant urbanization, protection of natural resources.
Prince Philip’s plane at Entzheim airport: the cockpit is topped with the French flag and the Duke of Edinburgh’s standard
The prince and his son reach the Maison de l’Europe aboard a black limousine
Philip and Charles in a black limousine getting off the plane.
In his speech (in English) at the podium of the Council of Europe, Prince Philip is concerned about water resources and asks the question: “what levels of pollution of water, land and air are we ready to accept? “.
“We need to achieve a fair distribution of land and water between agriculture and recreation.”
According to our research in the archives, the arrival of Prince Philip in 1970 remains the only visit of the husband of the Queen of England to Alsatian soil.