The Queen shares emotional message following South African floods

The monarch shared some moving words

On Thursday, it was announced that the Queen would have to cancel her appearance at the Easter Sunday church service at Windsor Castle.

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Hours after the news emerged, her Majesty released an emotional statement as she reacted to the floods in South Africa that have caused an estimated £40 million worth of damage, destroying homes and washing away roads. The floods, which have happened in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, have also claimed the lives of at least 306 people, with the death toll expected to rise.

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In her statement, her Majesty said: "I am deeply saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life and destruction caused by the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal province.

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"My thoughts are with all those who have lost their lives, their loved ones, homes and businesses.

"The United Kingdom stands in solidarity with South Africa as you recover from these terrible events."

The Queen on a state visit to Durban in 1995

Earlier on Thursday, her Majesty pulled out of the service at Windsor Castle that she traditionally attends. It is expected that her place will be filled by other members of the royal family, although this won't be confirmed until the actual day.

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The Easter Sunday church service is an important fixture in the royal family's calendar and Her Majesty will no doubt be disappointed that she cannot attend.

The 96-year-old monarch has been experiencing mobility issues and it's understood that her public appearances are decided on a case-by-case basis. She also recently spoke about her experience of COVID-19, revealing it left her "very tired and exhausted".

Her Majesty traditionally attends the Easter service at Windsor Castle

Last week, as she virtually attended the official opening of a new hospital unit named in her honour, the Queen spoke to NHS workers and patients at the Royal London Hospital's Queen Elizabeth Unit, which was built in just five weeks in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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She heard from Asef Hussain and his wife Shamina about how he is continuing to recover from the virus which sadly killed both his father and brother and until recently, left him wheelchair-bound.

The Queen asked him: "Are you better now? I'm glad that you are getting better. It does leave one very tired and exhausted, doesn't it, this awful pandemic." She added: "In your time it was the bad version, wasn't it?"

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