The Countess of Wessex has issued a heartfelt message of condolence following the explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Tuesday evening, which has killed at least 135 people and injured more than 4,000 others.
Sophie wrote in her message to the President of the Republic of Lebanon on Thursday: "I was shocked to hear of the explosion at the port in Beirut and the surrounding area.
"I have fond memories of the people of Lebanon after visiting your country last year in June. My thoughts are with all those affected by this tragic incident, as well as everyone supporting them.
"My prayers go out to the victims and their families."
The Countess during her visit to Lebanon in 2019
Sophie visited Lebanon in June 2019, as the first member of the royal family to undertake an official trip to the country. The Countess met refugees and women's organisations during her visit.
The Countess' statement comes after the Queen sent a message of condolence to the President on Wednesday. Her Majesty wrote: "Prince Philip and I were deeply saddened by news of the explosion at the Port in Beirut yesterday.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been injured or lost their lives, and all those whose homes and livelihoods have been affected."
The Prince of Wales also wrote a message to the President, saying: "My wife and I wanted you to know how deeply we feel for all the people of Lebanon following the horrific explosion in Beirut which has resulted in the tragic death of so many and caused such unimaginable devastation.
"Our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones and all those who have been so terribly injured.
"However inadequate it may be, we did just want to assure you, dear Mr President, that you and your people are very much in our thoughts and special prayers at this desperately sad time."
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