Prince Charles said yesterday he was horrified by the devastating fires in Australia, particularly in an area he knew so well from his schoolboy days.
Hosting a gala reception to raise money for Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service, the heir to the throne said the extent of the Victoria fireswas hard to fathom.
“Both my wife and I were so horrified, along with so many other people in this country, by the extent of these bushfires,” he said outside his official residence, Clarence House.
“I know every year Australia suffers from dreadful events, but this year somehow it’s even more dreadful. We just wanted people to know … how deeply we feel for all those families who have suffered so terribly.
“The sheer extent of the horror is hard to comprehend.
“To me the tragedy was even worse when so many of the names of the towns and the townships that have been affected are the ones I remember so well from my time in Victoria at Geelong Grammar, up at Timbertop.”
Charles praised the efforts of emergency service workers who had battled the blazes.
“I don’t quite know how to express enough sympathy, how much we feel for people and pray that soon the situation will reverse,” he said.
“But in the meantime, all those emergency services and all the people who work so incredibly hard to try and deal with these crises deserve our gratitude and appreciation.”
His mother, Queen Elizabeth, this week joined hundreds of British citizens expressing their horror by making a private donation to the Red Cross.