King Charles Supports Turkey-Syria Earthquake Relief Work Following 'Generous Donation'

King Charles visited the West London Turkish Volunteers and officially opened Syria's House, a temporary community tent in Trafalgar Square

King Charles III visits Syria's House, a temporary Syrian community tent, in Trafalgar Square
King Charles. Photo: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

King Charles III is sharing his concern for those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

On Valentine's Day, the King, 74, stepped out in London to meet volunteers organizing donations for those affected by last week's 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Over 35,000 people have died, according to NBC News, in what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has described as "the disaster of the century."

King Charles was somber as he spoke with members of the West London Turkish Volunteers in Hounslow. The group has been busy collecting and packing food, blankets and warm clothing for transport to the region.

The King made a formal statement following the Feb. 6 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 $72 million to date. In a Feb. 9 tweet, the DEC thanked Charles and Camilla, 75, for their "generous donation" to the emergency appeal.

King Charles III visits the West London Turkish Volunteers in Hounslow
Kirsty O'Connor/AP/Shutterstock

Prince William and Kate Middleton also shared their support in a tweet on Feb. 9.

"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," they wrote, signing the message with "W&C" for William and Catherine to indicate the tweet's personal nature.

After learning more from the West London Turkish Volunteers, King Charles moved to Trafalgar Square in central London. There, he launched Syria's House, a temporary tent raised to create a space where members of the Syrian community can gather to support those affected by the earthquake.

King Charles III visits Syria's House, a temporary Syrian community tent, in Trafalgar Square

During the outing, Charles received a White Helmet from the Syria Civil Defence organization. In addition to the DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal, the U.K. gave another $4.6 million to White Helmets, a volunteer group working in Syria and Turkey, to assist with their ongoing search and rescue mission in northwest Syria.

In two other moments of outreach, the King stopped in a kebab shop and greeted members of the public who came out to see him at Trafalgar Square.

King Charles' solo outing came the day after Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Camilla has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time.

"After suffering the symptoms of a cold, Her Majesty The Queen Consort has tested positive for the Covid virus," the palace said in a statement on Monday. "With regret, she has therefore cancelled all her public engagements for this week and sends her sincere apologies to those who had been due to attend them."

Camilla, Queen Consort, gives a speech as she visits the S.T.O.R.M Family Centre
Queen Camilla. Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The news was released nearly a year to the day that Clarence House first announced Camilla had COVID. In February 2022, she tested positive for the viral disease four days after her husband, who was then known as Prince Charles, entered self-isolation following his own positive coronavirus diagnosis.

In a short statement issued on Feb. 14, 2022, a spokesman at Clarence House said, "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating. We continue to follow government guidelines."

The palace added at the time that Camilla was tripled-vaccinated against the viral disease. In December 2021, Charles also confirmed he was vaccinated and boosted.

To help earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria, consider donating to these organizations: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Doctors Without Borders, GlobalGiving, Save the Children, and The Syrian American Medical Society.

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