Prince William and Kate Middleton are learning more about relief work for the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
The Prince and Princess of Wales stepped out at. the Hayes Muslim Centre in London on Thursday morning to thank aid workers and fundraisers dedicated to the cause. The royal visit came one month after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the two countries on Feb. 6. Over 47,000 people have died, the Associated Press reports, in what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has described as “the disaster of the century.”
Prince William, 40, and Princess Kate, 41, shared their shock and voiced support for the U.K. Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal soon after the disaster, and today, met people making a difference. The royal couple spent time with reps from the Hayes Muslim Centre, which has raised over $29,000 for the campaign to date.
William and Kate — who wore a jacket from Catherine Walker & Co and a headscarf by Élan matching an outfit she wore in Pakistan in 2019 — also spoke with those from the DEC’s 15 crisis charities, including aid workers who recently returned from Turkey. Reps from Save The Children, Islamic Relief, Action Against Hunger, Age International and the British Red Cross then briefed the royals on the latest developments, and how the appeal is making a difference.
The Prince and Princess of Wales then met major fundraisers supporting the appeal, including the Turkish Women’s Association. The group partnered with Richmond-area schools to fundraise for the critical mission at a bazaar-style sale last month. The event raised over $11,000 by selling Turkish coffee, homemade baked goods and origami cranes — a symbol of hope — made by local schoolchildren.
Prince William and Princess Kate first shared their support for the people of Turkey and Syria in a Feb. 9 tweet.
“We have been horrified to see the harrowing images coming out of Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the earthquakes this week. Our thoughts are with the communities affected and we are pleased to support the @decappeal campaign which will aid the response on the ground,” the royals tweeted, signing the message with “W&C” for William and Catherine to indicate the tweet’s personal nature.
King Charles III also made a statement on the day of the disaster, sending “thoughts and special prayers” on behalf of himself and his wife, Queen Camilla. The royal couple donated to the U.K. Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal, which has raised over $100 million to date. In a Feb. 9 tweet, the DEC thanked Charles and Camilla for their “generous donation” to the emergency appeal.