Queen Elizabeth II may be all the way in the United Kingdom, but she’s let Aussie farmers doing it tough that her thoughts are with them during the devastating drought.
In a heartfelt message released by Government House, the 92-year-old said both she and husband Prince Philip are deeply saddened by the drought plaguing most of Australia, but said she was moved that so many communities across the country were rallying together.
She described the drought as “one of the worst Australian droughts in living memory” and acknowledged it was having a huge impact on Australian farmers.
“I know Australia as a land where extremes of weather, floods and droughts are taken in their stride, and life goes on with a stoic and determined spirit,” the monarch said in a statement. “It is clear, however, that the current drought is taking an immense toll, especially on those living and working in rural communities, who are, in so many ways, the very heart and soul of Australia.”
The Queen said she was encouraged that Australians continued to support each other during this difficult time.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the many individuals, families, communities and businesses who have been affected, and I send my sincere thanks to all those who stand shoulder-to-shoulder in their support,” she said.
According to the Queen’s statement, she has also made a private donation to support the drought relief efforts.
The past few months has seen countless reports of farmers struggling in the drought, with some posting images of their dead and starving livestock, which has drawn millions of dollars in donations from the public through platforms such as Buy a Bale, Rural Aid and Fiver for a Farmer.
Parts of the country are experiencing the worst drought in decades, with New South Wales suffering its worst drought since 1965. Australia’s biggest companies have made much of their own multi-million-dollar corporate donations to provide hay to farmers in need, while Australian music icon John Farnham has pledged to headline a drought relief concert later this year.
At the end of July, the New South Wales government announced an additional $500 million in assistance for drought-affected farmers.