Prince William offered his heartfelt condolences on Friday, July 18, after a Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 298 passengers, including several Britons, was shot down over the Ukraine on Thursday. Speaking at an event at Australia House in London, the Duke of Cambridge, 32, expressed his grief at the loss of so many lives.
"I know that I speak for all of us here when I acknowledge our deep sadness following yesterday's disaster in the Ukraine," he began. "For all of us who've lost fellow countrymen and women in the tragedy, words cannot do justice to our sense of loss."
He went on to note the especially brutal timing of the crash, which occurred just a few months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. "For Australians and for our Malaysian brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth, the crash is a particularly cruel tragedy, coming so soon after the loss of MH370," he said. "Please be assured of my family's thoughts and prayers at this time."
Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer appeared at the event, too, leading the crowd in a moment of silence in memory of the crash victims.
"As you all know, Australia and Great Britain have been together through centuries by huge events, some triumphant, others tragic," he said. "And today we acknowledge that we're yet again bound together, this time by tragedy—27 Australians and nine Britons have reportedly died as a result of the destruction of the Malaysian aircraft over Ukraine. Let us take a moment of silence to reflect on this tragedy."