Sunday, 15 March 2009

Prince William and Prince Harry via a video link at Melbourne's MCG

In their first broadcast address to Australia, Prince William and Prince Harry sent their thoughts and prayers to those affected by the recent disasters in Victoria and Queensland across the Sydney and Melbourne Sound Relief concerts.

"We are very sorry that we cannot join you today in Sydney and Melbourne for these incredible concerts," Prince William said after being introduced by Australian actress Toni Collette.

The Age could not ignore the Princes: "AS THE showers that were dousing the last of Victoria's bushfires fell on the MCG yesterday, a soggy but sated 81,000-strong crowd paid tribute to Black Saturday's firefighters and its survivors, with a whooping, swaying rain dance in the thrall of some of Australia's most legendary music acts.

"The royal family also made an appearance via a video link from London, where Prince William and Prince Harry acknowledged the heroic efforts of the emergency services.

The ABC added: "'Like so many people, we saw the devastating news of the catastrophic bushfires in Victoria and floods in Queensland,' said Prince William. 'For those survivors who have lost someone they love, we can only imagine what they are going through... for them, and for all those left injured and homeless, the tragedy is far from over.'"

Prince William also paid tribute to the emergency service workers and those who volunteered their time to help save lives: “We almost must never forget the amazing and heroic efforts of the emergency services ... who have done so much to save so many lives. Nor must we forget the unsung heroism of countless people who risked their lives to save a neighbour or a stranger.”

Prince Harry thanked the performers who had put on a great show in both cities: “Today, you will all be enjoying these great performers who have generously given their time to honour those who have died and been hurt and those who risked their lives to save others. The line-up looks amazing and the concert is a magnificent effort by the Australian Music Community – to pay tribute in the way they know best. And of course all the funds raised will go a long way to help those who have lost so much. We just want to wish a great, and no doubt moving, evening to all of you – performers and crowd alike.”

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