Millions are watching as efforts continue to save Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris which continues to burn after a huge fire broke out in the roof in the early evening of April 15th 2019. Messages of support for France are pouring in from around the world. And among those expressing sadness over the fire and hopes that some of the medieval glory of the cathedral can be saved are members of royal families across Europe.
One of the first to comment was Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece who spent several years living in the French capital. On Twitter, she reflected the thoughts of many who were worried about the human impact as initial details were so sketchy, saying ‘‘hoping and praying no one was injured’‘. The other part of her message summed up the sense of loss that was already beginning to take hold as she wrote ” As a little girl I lived on the île st Louis in Paris right next to the Notre Dame. This is so sad and heartbreaking.”
Queen Elizabeth II said, “Prince Philip and I have been deeply saddened to see the images of the fire which has engulfed Notre-Dame Cathedral.
“I extend my sincere admiration to the emergency services who have risked their lives to try to save this important national monument.
“My thoughts and prayers are with those who worship at the Cathedral and all of France at this difficult time.”
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s statement, in part,: “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.”
You can read their full statement here.
Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania, who is currently undertaking an important visit to France, sent a message to President Emmanuel Macron as soon as the extent of the fire became clear. In it, she expressed her solidarity with the French people and spoke of her admiration for the work of firefighters tackling the blaze.
As firefighters continued their battle to save the cathedral, the Spanish Royal Family took to Twitter to send its support. The message looked to the future, saying ”the French people will rebuild it, they will raise it up again without a doubt. And we will be there, the whole world is and will be with France. The Cathedral of Notre Dame will rise from its ashes”.
The Grand Ducal Court released a statement from Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, as well, “Wholeheartedly withfor the loss of this priceless architectural and historical gem. At this moment of sadness, I address all my support! » H.R.H. the Grand Duchess, godmother of the Bourdon Marie of the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris.”
Tessy Antony, Princess of Luxembourg also spoke of her disbelief on social media as the extent of the damage became clear. She wrote ”When history burns down what is left? Very sad to see this happening in Paris today”
The King of Sweden sent a message to the President of France saying, “Her Majesty the Queen and I wish to express our sincere sympathy following the fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris and convey our deep feelings of solidarity to the French people.”
Prince Albert of Monaco expressed solidarity and said he was “deeply upset and sad.”
The Kings of Bahrain and Morocco have also expressed their solidarity with the French people.
There were also heartfelt comments from Westminster Abbey, a royal peculiar, which said in an official tweet that all those there were ”devastated for our friends at
#NotreDame and for the people of France.”
The fire at Notre Dame, which had been undergoing restoration work, quickly took hold and within a couple of hours, its spire and much of its roof had collapsed. So far, there are no reports of any injuries.
The church was started in 1160, during the reign of King Louis VII of France, and has been the scene of many famous royal moments including the coronation of Napoleon and Josephine. It has been damaged and restored many times before but the fire is believed to have affected a much larger part of the 850-year-old infrastructure than any other event in its history.