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The Prince arrived yesterday at about 2pm in his private jet.

Joanna sent me this photo of the plaque ready to unveil yesterday in the Lido area.

A straight copy from the FN

Prince of Monaco calls for sustainable development in Madeira, when inaugurating a square with the name of his great grandfather.

Prince Albert of Monaco was the personality that justified the presence in Funchal of the highest individualities in the region and of some prominent entities at national level, including the Secretary of State for National Defence, Marques Perestrelo, and the head of Military Staff and National Maritime Authority, almirante Silva Ribeiro. The sovereign of the Monegasque principality was present at the roundabout of the Lido, which from now on will bear the name of his great-grandfather, Alberto I, in honour of a patron of oceanographic research and who made several visits to Madeira and the Azores, also leading research in the waters of Macaronesia.

At the ceremony, the current Prince Albert of Monaco reported his “great joy” as he was celebrating the memory of his illustrious ancestor in Madeira, and was sensitized by the “warm welcome” and the attitude of the Falkland Islands autarchy to evoke in this way compliment your great-grandfather.

“Prince Albert I fell in love immediately with your region, especially in 1879, during a cruise of discovery in his yacht, the Hirondelle . But above all, your island has had a decisive influence over the course of your life, “he said, quoting Alberto I:” If the vision of Madeira moves me so much, it is because that is where my destiny has definitely been decided , “he wrote in his paper, almost twenty years later, in 1897, he said.

In fact, he recalled, it was during his first visit that Alberto I met the Duchesse de Richelieu, who was then on vacation on the island, with whom he would later marry: he would become Princess Alice.

“It was to see her that my great grandfather returned to Madeira in the winters of 1888 and 1889. He took advantage of excursions, scientific observations and experiments on oceanographic materials,” recalled Alberto II.

Approaching the path of the “wise prince” ( le prince savant ), the current ruler of Monaco recalled how his great-grandfather resolved to devote his life to science, particularly that of the marine regions. It was no longer, he said, only the European aristocrat who came to Madeira in search of the softness of its climate. They moved him into bigger, exploitative interests.

Alberto I, recalled, “returns to your archipelago for six oceanographic campaigns, all of which take place in Madeira, in 1897, 1901, 1904, 1905, 1911 and 1912.” It was then an opportunity to establish links with local society, including the scientific community, and to develop an “authentic passion” for the Desertas Islands, where he would make hunting excursions that would later form a chapter of his autobiographical work.

Prince Albert II was happy to discover the exhibition that the Archives of the Palace prepared with the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco and the Museum of Natural History of Funchal. A show that opened just after the ceremony at the roundabout of the Lido area.

He then addressed the scientific vocation that he decided to pursue: “Following the example of Prince Albert I, I decided a few months ago with the participation of my Government, the Oceanographic Institute, the Prince Albert I Foundation, the Monaco Science Center, and of my own foundation dedicated to the protection of the environment and sustainable development, to continue the tradition of the scientific expeditions of Monaco. These new explorations, which have as their object the research and the enlightenment of the public, have precisely the first destination, Macaronésia, on board the scientific ship Yersin . The chain of time is thus restored. ”

“This afternoon in Funchal, tomorrow on the Monte, then on the Desertas Islands, I will follow in the footsteps of my illustrious ancestor. But, above all, I hope, modestly, to bring your work to life by updating it and adapting it to the great environmental challenges that we must now face for the good of future generations: protecting our planet through the fight against climate change, biodiversity and water, “he said.

“The preservation of your environment, which is a laboratory for these three challenges of our time, must, of course, be combined with a reasonable tourist development, which is essential for economic development. May we, armed with the teachings of those who have gone before us, and in the light of the research and observations that our joint scientific teams can carry out, convey this message to those who come after us, “he said.

He concluded his words by addressing “a heartfelt thought to the victims of the August 15 accident” during a religious feast on the Mount and highlighted the “rich diversity” of the Madeira archipelago, recalling the first, almost idyllic, impression of his ancestor, Alberto I, who, just a few days before, on his first visit, said that he would be able to stay here for weeks. “The whole island is actually a huge park,” said Alberto I in 1879.

For his part, the representative of the Republic, Ireneu Barreto, declared that the act that brought the Prince of Monaco to Funchal deserves “joy” because motivated by scientific expeditions: as he pointed out, “History and Science have always evolved by genius of some exceptional men – pioneers, explorers and dreamers – who wanted and had the courage to go further, in the knowledge of the elements that surround us. ”

“It is now clear that the expeditions of Prince Albert I were a decisive step in the scientific work of knowledge of the sea and its mysteries,” he said. “By creating modern oceanography and unravelling secrets of the sea, the thirty years of exploration have shown a new world, which we must know, protect and preserve for future generations,” he said. “But how many Princess Alice banks, how many Hirondelle holes, how many more underwater formations are still waiting to be known?” He asked himself. Ireneu Barreto emphasized the current prince’s commitment to follow in the footsteps of his ancestor and ended: “(…) we are a community that strives to preserve the only natural world heritage under the aegis of UNESCO in Portugal, the Laura Silva forest, and to save from the extinction of some species of our fauna, like the fur seal,

The Secretary of State for Defence, Marcos Perestrelo, highlighted the good relations between Portugal and the Principality of Monaco and emphasized the fact that in that country there is a remarkable Portuguese community. He also referred to the interest in oceanography and the need to preserve the seas, as an added responsibility for “maritime regions” as are both Portuguese and Monesgasca nations.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Funchal, Paulo Cafôfo, proudly emphasized the fact that Madeira and Funchal, in particular, have attracted, throughout their history, scientists and illustrious visitors who have spent more or less invariably for being surrendered to the charms of this island in the middle of the Atlantic. Alberto I, he stressed, was one of them. He emphasized the investigations carried out by the great-grandfather of the prince of Monaco and pointed out that it was in Funchal that he found his passion beyond oceanography, that is, the one that would become the Princess Alice.

He further stated that the contribution of Prince Albert I to the better knowledge of our waters and the fauna that inhabits it has stimulated the arousal of Madeira’s interest in the sea in terms of scientific exploration and conservation, which in its view fully justifies the homage paid by giving the name of Alberto I to the square in the Lido. He also addressed the scientific strengths of CMF, including the nearby Marine Biology Station.

An aspect also focused by the President of the Regional Government, Miguel Albuquerque, who began by speaking French, to thank the Prince of Monaco for his contribution to current oceanographic studies; passing to Portuguese, congratulated the local authority for this initiative, and praised her for continuing to be one of the few municipalities of the country with a Department of Science, chaired by Manuel Biscoito; for this scientist, he asked, moreover, for a round of applause from those present. This Department, he said, “has helped to design Madeira in the world.”

Tranquada Gomes, president of the Legislative Assembly of Madeira, was also praiseworthy in the role of the principality of Monaco in its role of warning of the need to safeguard our collective future through nature conservation, which could be jeopardized. Proper management of our maritime resources. ”

Love for the sea unites the islanders, he said, and is an added value for the pursuit of ecological and conservationist activities. Tranquada Gomes did not forget to remember what unites the principality of Monaco and Portugal: in addition to the Portuguese community, recalled that the coach of the club of the heart of the current prince, Monaco, is Madeiran Leonardo Jardim, “a son of this land” which has brought “many joys” to the sovereign.

Alberto do Monaco arrived today in Funchal at the beginning of the afternoon in his last generation Falcon plane; he immediately went to the roundabout of the Lido, to inaugurate the square that is now named after his great-grandfather. There he unveiled a plaque, designed by the Madeiran sculptor Manuela Aranha, and signed the book of honour of the Municipality of Funchal. Surrounded by an authentic “entourage” of journalists, photographers and personal security, besides the official and invited entities, there was however little the Madeiran public that attended the occasion, motivated by the opportunity to “look the eye” at one of the personalities whose image and activities are among the most coveted and reported by the Pink Press.