The following message was sent from HRH The Prince of Wales to the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd:

My wife and I have been watching with mounting horror and anguish the devastation caused by the terrible bush fires which have been raging in Australia.

Although such sentiments are, I realize, hopelessly inadequate in the circumstances, I just wanted you to know that our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones, homes, livelihoods and treasured personal possessions as a result of such an unmitigated tragedy.

We can scarcely imagine their suffering and we would be most grateful if there was some way in which they could be made aware of how much they are in our thoughts and prayers at such a time of unbearable anguish.