The Queen and the Prince of Wales have both sent letters of condolences to Gov. Gen. Julie Payette after the tragic plane crash in Iran that killed 138 people bound for Canada, including 57 Canadian citizens.
The Governor General’s office released a message from the Queen, addressed to all Canadians, on Saturday.
The message said that she and Prince Philip have both been “deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life.”
She and the Duke of Edinburgh also extended their thoughts and prayers to all Canadians.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of all those Canadians, and indeed other nationalities, who died, and to the many others who have been affected by this terrible event.”
Clarence House, the official residence of Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, also shared a statement on Saturday.
Prince Charles wrote that the pair were “horrified” and that they could only begin to imagine the “heart-rendering anguish” of those directly affected by the crash.
“However hopelessly inadequate it may be, we particularly wanted you to know just how much our hearts go out to all those whose grief must be unbearable,” Charles wrote.
Late Friday, Iran’s government admitted the plane had been shot down unintentionally on Jan. 8 due to “human error,” killing all 176 people on board. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the country must take “full responsibility” for the tragedy and called for Iran and the U.S. to de-escalate tensions in the region.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said investigations will continue to “identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake.”
The Royals’ comments come amid an internal crisis after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — who recently spent a six-week vacation in Canada — announced they would be stepping back as “senior royals,” working to become financially independent and spending their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” Prince Harry and Meghan wrote in an Instagram post that allegedly shocked and angered other members of the Royal Family.
Harry is expected to meet with the Queen, Prince Charles and his brother Prince William on Monday, according to reports, to discuss next steps. Meanwhile, Meghan flew back to Canada on Friday to be with their son Archie.
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