Princes pay tribute to bushfire victims

Princes pay tribute to bushfire victims

25 February 2009

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Australia — Britain’s royal brothers, Princes William and Harry, placed yellow ribbons in their lapels – and promised privately not to remove them before the Ashes series was over – before signing the condolence book for Victoria’s bushfire victims at the Australian High Commission in London.

Dressed in dark suits and colourful ties, the young Princes expressed deep shock and sadness at the death toll in the wake of the fires and expressed concern the emergency was not over yet.

“They just wanted to pay their respects to the Australian people today and let those who have been tragically bereaved and others who have been left homeless know that their thoughts and prayers are with them,” the Princes said in a statement.

The surprise visit, arranged by the Queen’s private secretary just 24 hours before, saw them arrive with an unusually small contingent in the Strand late on Tuesday afternoon local time. They shared a few quick few words with the High Commissioner, John Dauth, the Consul General, Paula Ganley and the Acting Agent General for Victoria, Ian Marland.

After signing the book, Prince Harry, jovial and relaxed, made the quip about the summer cricket.

On Sunday, Princess Anne represented the royal family at the national bushfire memorial service in Melbourne.

The Queen also made a private donation to the Red Cross bushfire appeal.

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