Prince Philip and I have been deeply saddened to hear of one of the worst Australian droughts in living memory.
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.
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.
It is heartening and reassuring to see that families, communities and the entire nation are working together and supporting each other at this time of need.
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.