In the wake of the disaster and with the dismal reports reaching the palace, Prince Charles is donating a "substantial amount" to the Australian Red Cross on behalf of the royal family. The Buckingham Palace refused to disclose the exact amount of the donation. However, the palace gave assurance that the donation can be utilised by Red Cross to support the victims of the bushfire, especially those who had lost their homes.
Back in 2010, Prince Charles had personally met NSW Rural Fire Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons in Australia. He also had a strong bond with the country, dating as far back as the 1960s when he was still studying in Geelong.
Prince Charles had always been quick to offer support to Australia during challenging times, likewise, he had always been prompt to offer congratulations during triumphant moments.
On Oct 23, Prince Charles penned a personal note addressed to Mr Fitzsimmons, confirming the donation made on behalf of the royal family.
"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," wrote Prince Charles.
As a closing, Prince Charles expressed "special wishes and heartfelt encouragement" together with his wife Camilla.
The Queen had also expressed support for the victims of the bushfire.
"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."
Meanwhile, there were still 73 fires burning across the state, 29 uncontained. But Mr Fitzsimmons said this had been a great improvement as compared to the scenario in the past week. He said that the feared "doomsday scenario" was now averted.
"This is a very, very positive result. It would be safe to head back home tonight because the risk has been averted," Mr Fitzsimmons told News.com.au.
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