Prince Charles has written to the President of France expressing his sorrow over the damage caused to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. In his message, Charles described the church as ”one of the greatest architectural achievements of Western Civilization” and ”a treasure for all mankind”.
The famous church was devastated by flames on April 15th 2019 with firefighters battling through the night to save the building. The spire, a 19th century recreation of the medieval original, was lost as was much of the roof. The famous towers on the western facade were saved.
The message from the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall was sent on the morning of April 16th 2019, soon after the Queen wrote to President Macron. The full statement reads:
My wife and I were utterly heartbroken to learn of the terrible fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral this evening and wanted to let you know immediately how much we are thinking of yourself and the French people at this most agonizing of times, and of the emergency services who are so bravely tackling the blaze.
I realize only too well what a truly special significance the Cathedral holds at the heart of your nation; but also for us all outside France it represents one of the greatest architectural achievements of Western Civilization. It is a treasure for all mankind and, as such, to witness its destruction in this most dreadful conflagration is a shattering tragedy, the unbearable pain of which we all share.
Cher Monsieur le Président, our hearts go out to you and the people of France more than you can ever know, especially in view of our experience with the devastating fire at Windsor Castle twenty-seven years ago. We send you our most profound sympathy, however inadequate that may be.
Très cordialement à vous”.
In her message, the Queen said her thoughts and prayers were with ”all those who worship at the Cathedral and all of France at this difficult time”.