British queen sends message of sympathy to Japan
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sent a message of sympathy to Japan on Friday following the massive earthquake that devastated northeastern Japan and killed more than 330 people.
In her message to Japan's Emperor Akihito, the queen said: "I was saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life caused by the earthquake which has struck northeast Japan today.
"Prince Philip joins me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to your Majesty and the people of Japan. Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the dreadful disaster."
Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, said he had heard the news of the devastating quake and the tsunamis it generated with "the greatest shock and sadness."
In his own message to the emperor, Charles said: "You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers at this most dreadful and challenging of times."
The royal messages came as Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain stood ready to send humanitarian assistance and search and rescue teams to the quake zone.
© 2011 AFP