About 18 months ago, in late January 2009, during the tempestuous cyclone Klaus in France, which killed 26 people and wreaked enormous damage to the nearby once ancient region of Aquitaine, a new island suddenly appeared, 7 miles out to sea in the mouth of the Gironde estuary in the Bay of Biscay.

The French have called it the l'île mystérieuse or "the mysterious island," after the Jules Verne novel and film as depicted in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Os0l808oM9g but officially the newly formed mysterious island remains unnamed, and does not appear on maps of the region.

The island appeared not far from where the former Island or Isle of Courdain used to be, but it is understandable that the French did not want to give the new island this ancient name. Next thing the English who once owned the island would be claiming it as their own and even worse the notorious Black Prince might make an unwelcome reappearance, along with his island. The Black Prince
was an exceptional English military leader who won legendary victories over the French at Crécy and Poitiers. He was the very first Knight of the Garter, whose Order he founded. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xn4NohzffU&feature=related

The Black Prince has already made a recent comic reappearance as the Dark Avenger, shortly after the mysterious island appeared, see the comic club review of the new Dark Avenger 1 comic which appeared. at

Errol Flynn once starred in the original 1955 film ‘the Dark Avenger’ based upon the Black Prince and the 100 Year War which was otherwise known as the Warriors in America, see YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQd664cQdeg.  This film goes into great detail to show how Aquitane was owned by the English for hundreds of years and also how the notorious Black Prince earned his name, fighting the French in the 100 year war.

For over 200 years the now French region of Aquitaine  belonged to the English, and during this time the Ile de Courdain was owned and occupied by the English Black Prince, otherwise known as Edward Woodstock, Prince of Wales. The Black Prince was the uncrowned son of Edward III of England, who terrorised the French during the 100 years war. For several centuries the Ile de Courdain housed the Black Prince’s Tower which was built to maintain the English stranglehold over the region. The French were probably delighted when many years later the Black Prince’s Tower and the island of Courdain were finally eroded by storms and disappeared into the ocean.

The English Black Prince and his beloved Queen Joan, who was his older cousin and childhood sweetheart, once held the most lavish court in Europe at French Aquitaine, it was considered among the most brilliant of the time and was attended by exiled King James IV of Majorca and Peter of Castile. The Black Prince’s ruby which is one of the most magnificent of the British crown jewels also resided there with the Prince, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Prince%27s_Ruby

There are several computer games that incorporate the character of the Black Prince, such as
the 2007 PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 video game Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War by Koei. Edward appears under the name of Black Prince in the game Empire Earth and is also in Medieval: Total War and in Age of Empires II.

Shakespeare also has made many references to the Black Prince in his plays for example Edward is referred to in William Shakespeare's Henry V Act  1, Scene 2

Canterbury says

“Look back into your mighty ancestors
Go, my dread lord to your great-grandsire's tomb,
from whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit,
and your great-uncle's, Edward the Black Prince
Who on the French ground play'd a tragedy,
Making his defeat on the full power of France,
Whiles his most mighty father on a hill
Stood smiling to behold his lion's whelp
Forage in blood of French Nobility”.

and in Act 2, Scene 4

the King of France says

“And he is bred out of that bloody strain
That haunted us in our familiar paths
Witness our too much memorable shame
When Cressy battle fatally was struck,
And all our princes captiv'd by the hand
Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales.”

and in Act 4, Scene 7

Fluellen says
“Your grandfather of famous memory, an't please your
majesty, and your great-uncle Edward the Black
Prince of Wales, as I have read in the chronicles
fought a most brave battle here in France.”

The new island has stunned scientists because although it is only 18 months old it is already the home to 12 species of plants, 30 invertebrates and many birds. It has 11 acres above high tide and 250 acres at low tide. In February this year during another devastating cyclone Xynthia, the locals were amazed to find that it had survived the storm but that it had moved 50m closer to the original site of the lost Isle of Courdain.

Unfortunately, the new mysterious island is a major attraction to day trippers, ravers and paragliders, who are now trampling the evolving ecosytems and causing extensive damage. The island does not yet appear on maps and is therefore unprotected. Bernard Giraud, deputy mayor of Royan and head of the town's environmental department and Jean-Marc Thirion, an environmental scientist who heads local conservation group OBIOS, have been lobbying government departments and Bordeaux port authorities to gain official status for the new island, but so far noone is taking them seriously, they just see it as a sand bank.

Regardless of this, it is reassuring to know that next year the Gironde estuary is due to become part of a protected maritime zone. See http://news.discovery.com/earth/frances-mysterious-island-now-threatened-by-ravers.html#mkcpgn=emnws1

The Black Prince is buried at Canterbury Cathedral with his wife Queen Joan see http://www.paradoxplace.com/Photo%20Pages/UK/Britain_South_and_West/Canterbury_Cathedral/Canterbury_Internal/Canterbury_Inside.htm#Black Prince

His epitaph reads

“Such as thou art, sometime was I.
Such as I am, such shalt thou be.
I thought little on th'our of Death
So long as I enjoyed breath.
But now a wretched captive am I,
Deep in the ground, lo here I lie.
My beauty great, is all quite gone,
My flesh is wasted to the bone.

I expect that the French are hoping that the Black Prince remains ‘deep in the ground’ unlike his island. Coincidently, the Black Prince was the 1st Royal Knight of the Garter and Prince William at 26 was recently crowned the 1000th Royal Knight of the Garter, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmpPrHzZRzM&feature=related