Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with the Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell and the High Commissioner for Australia, George Brandis. Picture: Getty
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with the Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell and the High Commissioner for Australia, George Brandis. Picture: Getty

Prince Charles’ secret Aussie donation

Prince Charles made a "substantial" secret donation to support the Australian bushfire relief fund, as he said the summer must have felt like an "an apocalyptic vision of Hell."

George Brandis, the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, disclosed the royal cash splash as he drummed up support from London business heavyweights at a bushfire fundraising dinner.

Prince Charles delivered a keynote speech at the charity event at Mansion House, the same venue where his son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited last week.

He spoke of his personal connection to Australia, which he first visited in 1966 when he attended school at Geelong Grammar in Victoria.

Prince Charles said his heart was with Australians.

 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales makes a speech as he attends a dinner in aid of the Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort at Mansion House. Picture: Getty
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales makes a speech as he attends a dinner in aid of the Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort at Mansion House. Picture: Getty

 

"I was most touched … to have an opportunity to express, once again, just how much my family and I care about what I can only imagine must have seemed like an apocalyptic vision of Hell that the Australian people have been through over these past, desperately trying, few months," he said.

"I was profoundly shocked by the extent and intensity of the fires which swept Australia this summer."

Prince Charles said he had closely monitored the fires, and noted "even the most seasoned firefighters were taken aback by their ferocity."

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales uses a Namaste gesture to greet Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood as he attends the Prince's Trust And TK Maxx & Homesense Awards at London Palladium. Picture: Getty
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales uses a Namaste gesture to greet Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood as he attends the Prince's Trust And TK Maxx & Homesense Awards at London Palladium. Picture: Getty

"These terrifying fires robbed people of their lives, their loved ones, and their property; driving them from their homes while, at the same time, wreaking untold devastation on Australia's unique and precious wildlife," he said.

"The scale of the loss is as appalling as it is heartbreaking and it is dreadful to think of the suffering that so many Australians have had to endure."

Prince Charles, a climate change campaigner, also referenced the increasing temperatures in his speech, pointing out that Penrith had recorded 48.9 degrees in January.

"The overriding, fundamental challenge remains," he said.

 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) poses with (L-R) Hilary Russell, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, the High Commissioner for Australia, George Brandis and guest. Picture: Getty
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) poses with (L-R) Hilary Russell, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, the High Commissioner for Australia, George Brandis and guest. Picture: Getty

 

"Longer, hotter, drier summers are the new reality with which Australia must contend."

A who's who of Australian business and entertainment were in the Egyptian Hall at Mansion House, with its series of columns and ornate decorations.

Comedian Adam Hills was the MC and ran an auction, while former Sky News Australia boss Angelos Frangopoulos and his wife Rebecca were also there, along with human rights lawyer Jen Robinson.

More than $400,000 AUD was raised through ticket sales and other donations, with the auction set to raise significantly more.

Mr Brandis said that Prince Charles had been a significant donor to the bushfire appeals funds.

 

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) Hilary Russell as they attend a dinner in aid of the Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort at Mansion House. Picture: Getty
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) Hilary Russell as they attend a dinner in aid of the Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort at Mansion House. Picture: Getty

 

He said the Duke of Cornwall made a "substantial private donation to an Australian charity to assist the work for Australians affected" by the fires.

"At a time when everybody is so worried about coronavirus it is inspiring that so many Londoners have come to this dinner tonight, including His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to show their solidarity with those Australians who suffered in the bushfires over the summer," he said.

Australian singer Josh Piterman managed to convince Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber to give him the night off from Phantom of the Opera on the West End.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attends a dinner in aid of the Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort at Mansion House. Picture: Getty
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attends a dinner in aid of the Australian bushfire relief and recovery effort at Mansion House. Picture: Getty

He sang Music of the Night and The Prayer from the musical, in between Hills' efforts to part the London city bankers from their cash.

"It was such a heartbreaking thing for Australia, it seems to be a heart warming atmosphere here," he said.

The dinner was hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London William Russell.

stephen.drill@news.co.uk



Data reveals significant rise in hotel occupancy in CQ

Premium Content Data reveals significant rise in hotel occupancy in CQ

The Capricorn and Gladstone regions have recorded 17 and 12 per cent increases...

Woman walking street with hammer in South Rockhampton

Premium Content Woman walking street with hammer in South Rockhampton

Police are at the scene handling the situation

In memory of a true wildlife warrior

Premium Content In memory of a true wildlife warrior

‘He walked the talk – he was a man who fought to save his treasured natural...