The royal mom released a statement to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday, sharing her condolences to those who have been affected by the wildfires, which have claimed the lives of at least 17 people and burned through more than 11 million acres since it sparked in September.
“In this time of great hardship caused by the ruthless bush fires, my husband and I would like to convey our warmest wishes to the Australian people as we enter a new year,” Princess Mary said. “Our heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and our deepest sympathy to the many families who have lost their homes – their livelihoods. When the immediate crisis subsides and people can begin to return from where they have fled, our thoughts and concerns will remain with the affected local communities, as it will undoubtedly take great efforts and time for them to rebuild what has been lost.”
Mary, 47, also focused on those doing their part to fight the flames.
“The courage and unyielding efforts of the volunteer firefighters have our deepest respect and admiration,” she said. “Following from afar, it makes me proud of my Australian heritage to witness the strong sense of community and the Australian spirit of ‘never giving up’ in the face of such devastation and adversity.”
She signed the note with “warmest regards” from “Mary Crown Princess of Denmark.”
Members of the British royal family have also released statements in support of Australia, a Commonwealth country, in these hard times.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those across Australia who are continuing to face the devastating fires that have been raging for months,” Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wrote in a joint statement released on Instagram alongside photos of the aftermath of the fires.
“From areas we are personally connected to such as the communities and people we visited in New South Wales in 2018, to the fires in California and parts of Africa, we are struck by the increasingly overlapping presence of these environmental disasters, including of course the destruction of the Amazon which continues,” they continued. “This global environmental crisis has now been described as Ecocide. It’s easy to feel helpless, but there’s always a way to help.”
Kate Middleton and Prince William added their condolences via Instagram, stating: “We continue to be shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the fires that are destroying homes, livelihoods and wildlife across much of Australia. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people and communities who are affected by this devastating event. We send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have tragically lost their lives, and the brave firefighters who continue to risk their own lives to save the lives of others.”
Queen Elizabeth also released a statement addressing the tragedy.
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As the more than 130 fires continue to burn, ecologists from the University of Sydney believe almost half a billion total mammals, birds and reptiles have also died in the fires since September.