Prince Charles offers message of hope to Victorians in COVID-19 stage four lockdown
However, referring to the bushfires and Victoria’s second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, he said the state’s people had been sorely tested.
“My wife and I have endless admiration for your seemingly unceasing capacity for good humour in the face of great hardship,” he said.
“However, I realise this capacity has been sorely tested this year which has surely been a tremendously difficult one for Australia and especially, if I may say so, for Victoria.
“I can only imagine just how incredibly hard it must be for you all, having had such early success in combating the virus, you now find yourselves in the midst of this second wave with all of its heartbreaking consequences.”
In a message recorded in his book-lined study at Clarence House, Prince Charles, who tested positive to COVID-19 in March, quoted from the Irish Australian poet Victor Daley – a bohemian who died of tuberculosis in 1905 and wrote much about sorrow – to offer the promise of an eventual end to Victorians’ current travails.
“It is out heartfelt wish,” he said, speaking on behalf of himself and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, “That in the words of Victor Daley, the 19th century poet who found his voice in Victoria and who was himself no stranger to hardship, ‘you will soon see sorrow go down with the sun’.”
Charles knows more than most about the pandemic. In late March, he spent two weeks in self-isolation in the wilds of Scotland after testing positive for the virus.
Among the whirl of events he attended before testing positive was a large fundraiser for victims of the Australian bushfire disaster.
Once considered something of a dud as a future monarch, Prince Charles’s reputation has been on the rise for some time. It took a considerable upswing after he recovered for COVID-19 when he embarked on a campaign of video messaging and charity activism to raise awareness of the need to deal with the pandemic.
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Tony Wright is the associate editor and special writer for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.