Following reports of the devastating bush fires currently taking place in Australia, Prince Charles is to make a ‘substantial donation’ to the Australian Red Cross.
Prince Charles has personally met Rural Fire Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons during his visit to Australia in 2010. Today he said he was moved to send a personal note to Fitzsimmons and make a contribution on behalf of the royal family.
In the message, His Royal Highness wrote:
“Having had the great pleasure of meeting some of the volunteer firefighters of NSW at Bondi Beach last year, I just wanted you all to know that you are very much in my thoughts as you battle courageously against such appalling bushfires around Sydney.”
“My wife and I so greatly admire the selfless service you provide in such incredibly dangerous and distressing circumstances and our hearts go out to all those – including firefighters – who have lost their homes in this terrible conflagration.”
He added that he and Camilla send “special wishes and heartfelt encouragement” at such a difficult time.
Prince Charles has strong ties with Australia dating back to the 1960s when he studied in Geelong. When a disaster happens he is usually one of the first Britons to offer support, likewise congratulations during celebrations.
Buckingham Palace are not disclosing the amount he is contributing but said it was a considerable amount. They did say that the money donated will be used by the Red Cross to support those affected by the fire, particularly those who have lost their homes and belongings. It is understood that Charles was receiving regular updates about the fires in Australia which is receiving regular coverage on the UK press.
The Queen last week also expressed her sadness over the fires saying:
“My thoughts are with the many people who have lost their homes or livelihoods in the fires and I have the greatest admiration for the firefighters, volunteers and emergency services officers who are working tirelessly to control the situation”.