Members of the royal family have sent their condolences to French President Emmanuel Macron following the tragic fire that set ablaze the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. In a statement signed Elizabeth R, the Queen wrote: "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 Queen said she was "deeply saddened" to see the images
Prince Charles and Camilla also shared a message to the French President, with the future King writing: "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."
Calling the fire a "shattering tragedy," Charles continued: "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."
Monday's fire damaged the roof and spire of the cathedral
Monday's devastating fire left the iconic French cathedral partially destroyed, including its 850-year-old roof and spire. Firefighters worked for some 15 hours to contain the blaze and fully extinguish it; thankfully the landmark's main stone structure was saved, including its two towers. The cause of the fire is not yet clear.
President Macron visited the scene on Monday night and vowed to reconstruct the historic building. The politician declared: "We'll rebuild this cathedral all together and it's undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we'll have for the coming years. That's what the French expect [and] because it's what our history deserves."
President Macron has vowed to rebuild the cathedral
Individuals and organisations have already pledged millions of euros to help rebuild the cathedral, including the family of Bernard Arnault, owner of luxury goods and fashion house LVMH. In a statement, the family called Notre Dame an "extraordinary cathedral" and "a symbol of France, its heritage and its unity". French billionaire François Pinault has also pledged to donate around £86million, while the Mayor of Paris has said the city already had a budget of £70million in place for the restoration of its churches.
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