The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to British forces fighting in Afghanistan, in a Christmas radio broadcast to troops serving overseas.
Prince Charles thanked the servicemen and women for their relentless courage and said the nation owed them “an everlasting debt of gratitude”.
In his message, recorded last week at St James’s Palace and aired this morning, the prince said all those stationed abroad were very much in his thoughts and prayers.
He added: “I also wanted to pay tribute to the extraordinary contribution made by those of you who belong to our armed forces, in all sorts of different parts of the world.
“Nowhere is your fortitude and relentless courage more clearly on display than in Afghanistan, where your resilience, patience and determination to see the job through – usually in impossibly difficult conditions and circumstances – is, quite simply, humbling.”
He also joked about receiving a letter from his son, Prince Harry, an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner serving with the Army Air Corps, who has been stationed at Camp Bastion since September.
Christmas broadcasts to British troops serving abroad have been made by the Queen in the past. Her last message was recorded in 2006.
Charles’s words of support for the servicemen and women were aired on the British Forces Broadcasting Service radio at 11am on the Total Ops Connection programme broadcast across the world from Camp Bastion.
The prince is colonel-in-chief of a number of regiments serving in Afghanistan and he said he knew about the hardships troops face because of the regular reports from his units – and the occasional contact with Prince Harry.