King praises resilience of flood victims

The King has sent a message of support expressing his concern at the "terrible floods" that have inundated the Australian state of Victoria.

Charles paid tribute to the "extraordinary efforts" of uniformed organisations and volunteers in tackling the natural disaster over the past weeks.

The east of Australia has experienced heavy downpours, which flooded large parts of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, resulting in a number of deaths, thousands of people being evacuated and properties and businesses being swamped.

In his message to the governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau, the King said: "It is with great concern that my wife and I have followed the news of the terrible floods in recent weeks in Victoria.

"Our heartfelt thoughts are with all those affected and for the losses that have been suffered.

"Whilst I realise that this emergency is not over, I do want to pay tribute to the extraordinary efforts of those members of the emergency services, Australian Defence Force and the thousands of community volunteers who have been involved in rescue and recovery efforts.

"It has been particularly inspiring to see how communities have pulled together to protect homes and livestock and to support each other during this appallingly difficult period.

"We send our kindest and special wishes to all Victorians as you continue to demonstrate your remarkable resilience and strength."