King Charles' 'heartfelt condolences' at 'most difficult of times'

King Charles
-Credit: (Image: Gareth Fuller/ PA)

The King has sent his and his family's "heartfelt condolences" to the people of the Caribbean following the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Beryl. The powerful storm tore through islands in the southeast Caribbean, wreaking damage and killing at least seven people so far across Grenada, Carriacou, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.

It was predicted to pass just south of the Cayman Islands overnight and, on Thursday morning, its eye was approximately 500 miles east-southeast of Tulum, Mexico.

In a message published on the royal website, Charles said: "My family and I have been profoundly saddened to learn of the dreadful destruction caused by Hurricane Beryl across the Caribbean. Above all, we send our heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of those who have so cruelly lost their lives.

"I have seen the extraordinary spirit of resilience and solidarity that people across the Caribbean have shown in response to such destruction - a spirit which has been called upon too often - and so I also send my particular gratitude to the emergency services and volunteers who are supporting the rescue and recovery efforts. At this most difficult of times, please know that our most special thoughts and prayers are with all those whose lives, livelihoods and property have been so utterly devastated."

The Prince and Princess of Wales are understood to be donating privately to Hurricane Beryl relief efforts. The King's message follows an announcement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that a Royal Navy warship is heading to the Cayman Islands to support relief efforts.

HMS Trent, an offshore patrol vessel, is scheduled to arrive in the Cayman Islands this weekend with the crew set to help communities affected by flooding and storm damage. The storm, previously rated Category 5, could bring winds of more than 155mph to the area, according to the MoD.

HMS Trent departed from Puerto Rico on Wednesday carrying bottled water, basic emergency supplies and other equipment, with more than 50 sailors on board. Personnel include a team from 700X Naval Air Squadron who will be able to "conduct airborne reconnaissance", and assess damage from above, to support members of 24 Commando Royal Engineers who are also on board, the MoD said.

A specialist Rapid Deployment Team has already travelled to the Eastern Caribbean to provide consular assistance to affected British nationals, the government department added.