Thai Princess, Junta Leader Express Condolences after Notre Dame Fire

BANGKOK — Both Princess Ubolratana and junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha expressed their condolences Tuesday after a raging fire destroyed much of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday night.

Both Prayuth and Ubolratana Mahidol, a daughter of King Rama IX are among prominent Thais who have expressed sorrow that a fire irreparably damaged one Western civilization’s architectural and cultural wonders.

“Even though I am neither Christian nor French, what happened was so saddening, especially since the timing was right before Easter,” Ubolratana wrote on her Instagram, her major vehicle for communicating with the public. “My heart goes out to the people of France and the Catholics around the world.”

Meanwhile government spokesman Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak told press Tuesday morning that Prayuth “expresses his condolences and encouragement to the government and people of France.”

“This is a tragedy since this cathedral is historical and has great significance to the people of France. We believe that the government of France will be able to restore it quickly,” Weerachon said.

Using the #PrayforNotreDame and #Paris hashtags, Thais continue to tweet and post photos of memories associated with Notre Dame.

“I got to go inside once, but never again … by the time restoration is done, we’ll be old. So our entire generation won’t get to see it,” wrote @iamnong27.

“It feels like a loss whenever we read about that castle or that cathedral burning down, but it’s not so sad. But when it happens within our lifetime, it feels like all the air has been rushed out of you. So this is what loss is like,” @melody_blood tweeted.

“What a heart-wrenching image for art lovers to see the Gothic spire break and fall down,” @Earth_Oscar tweeted.

“Facebook showed me memories from eight years ago,” @jeremyaons posted photos of her with the cathedral. “The real thing is so beautiful. What a loss.”

Instagrammer @mooneyandfriends drew a tribute image to the cathedral.