HRH Prince Philip and the Charles Darwin Foundation

Prince Philip together with Gunter Reck, the Vice President of the Republic of Ecuador, Dr. Blasco Peñaherrera Padilla; the Minister of Agriculture, Ing. Marcos Espinel Martinez and the Director of the Galapagos National Park.

The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) would like to extend its heartfelt condolences on the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on the 9th of April at the age of 99.

His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was a Patron of the CDF and always supported the conservation and protection of the Galapagos Islands.

The Prince made three visits to the Galapagos, in 1964, 1970 and 1988. During his second visit, he was accompanied by Peter Kramer, a current member of the CDF General Assembly and Director of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) between 1970 and 1973.

Peter Kramer driving Prince Philip through the streets of Puerto Ayora, 1970.
Peter Kramer driving Prince Philip through the streets of Puerto Ayora, 1970. Photo from: CDRS Library and Günter Reck.

Peter recalls "The Prince loved the Galapagos, no doubt. For him unfiltered wildlife experiences were very important sources of inspiration and energy."

Günter Reck, Executive Director of the CDRS between 1984 and 1989, and current member of the CDF General Assembly, recalls the third visit of His Royal Highness in February 1988.

Günter Reck and Prince Philip during a tour around the Charles Darwin Research Station. Photo from: CDRS Library.
Günter Reck and Prince Philip during a tour around the Charles Darwin Research Station. Photo from: CDRS Library and Günter Reck.

Prince Philip explored the islands aboard the royal yacht BRITANNIA, where he was accompanied by Günter Reck and the Director of the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS), Humberto Ochoa. During this visit the official welcome to Ecuador was given by the Vice President of the Republic of Ecuador, Dr. Blasco Peñaherrera Padilla; the Minister of Agriculture, Ing. Marcos Espinel Martinez; the Director of the Galapagos National Park and Godfrey Merlen, a former CDF biologist and current member of the CDF General Assembly.

From left to right: The British Ambassador, Prince Philip, Günter Reck, Sylvia Harcourt and Alfredo Carrasco. Photo from: CDRS Library.
From left to right: The British Ambassador, Prince Philip, Günter Reck, Sylvia Harcourt and Alfredo Carrasco. Photo from: CDRS Library and Günter Reck.

Sylvia Harcourt, member of the CDF General Assembly, says “I had the honor to accompany Prince Philip around the Darwin Station when he visited in 1988, and then enjoy a wonderful visit on board the Royal yacht, where His Royal Highness expressed his enjoyment at being back in Galapagos and made everyone feel welcome and relaxed. He was delighted to receive a carved wooden tortoise made by park warden Fausto Llerena”.

Prince Philip on top of
Prince Philip on top of "Prince Philip's Steps" on Genovesa Island, 1988. Photo by: Günter Reck, CDF.

CDF expresses its condolences to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her family.

Puerto Ayora, 12th of April, 2021.

The “Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands”, in French “Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association International sans but lucratif (“AISBL”), has its registered office located at Chaussée de la Hulpe 177 Bte 20 (rez) - 1170, Brussels, and is registered under the trade registry of Brussels under the number 0409.359.103.

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