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Sunday 23rd February 2020

The Queen reveals she is 'shocked and saddened' in message shared during 'very difficult time'

She's at her Balmoral retreat

The Queen is "shocked and saddened" over the devastation wreaked in the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian, a message from Balmoral Castle has revealed.

In a post shared on the Royal Family's official Instagram, the monarch offered her "sincere condolences" for those whose lives have been impacted by the massive tropical cyclone.

A statement from the Queen, addressed to the Governor-General of the Bahamas Sir Cornelius Smith, read: "Prince Philip and I have been shocked and saddened to learn of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian."

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It continued: "We send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives following this terrible storm.

"At this very difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have seen their homes and property destroyed, and I also send my gratitude to the emergency services and volunteers who are supporting the rescue and recovery effort."

The Queen is currently at her Balmoral retreat (Credit:

Aerial images published by BBC News have shown the trail of destruction left in the wake of the cyclone.

The country's prime minister, Hubert Minnis, said the current death toll of seven was expected to rise.

Prince Philip and I have been shocked and saddened to learn of the devastation.

The Abaco Islands, a group of islands in the north of the Bahamas, were hit by the worst hurricane winds ever recorded at landfall, while Grand Bahama - the archipelago's northernmost island - was also devastated by severe floods.

PM Minnis said, "We can expect more deaths to be recorded. This is just preliminary information" and called Hurricane Dorian "one of the greatest national crises" in the country's history.

The Queen and Prince Philip are currently on their annual summer break at Balmoral.

The Queen spends every summer at Balmoral with Prince Philip (Credit: Cover Images)

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Last month, it was reported that Meghan Markle would making her first ever visit to the Scottish retreat alongside her husband Prince Harry and their son, Archie.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, a source at the estate said the Duchess of Sussex would be made to feel right at home in the Highlands, telling the paper: "Her Royal Highness will be made very welcome."

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