Prince William and Kate whiz to Manchester for poignant event after Queen’s speech

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Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive in Manchester

Kate and Prince William travelled to Manchester today to officially unveil the Glade of Light memorial. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the memorial garden, which opened to the public in January, and remembered the 22 victims who lost their lives following the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed several children and injured more than 1000 people when he detonated a homemade device as US pop star Ariana Grande’s concert was ending.

Some of the survivors and loved ones of the victims joined the Duke and Duchess today to view the memorial and remember those who lost their lives. 

For this engagement, Kate donned a sombre coat dress with a blue handbag and matching shoes. 

The Duke wore a formal dark blue suit with a tie and white shirt. 

The Glide of Light has been located near Manchester Cathedral and includes a garden surrounded by a marble centrepiece shaped like a halo.  

The art piece presents the name of those who lost their lives in the attack and includes 22 memory capsules containing items linked to each victim, which have been provided by their loved ones.  

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Kate and Prince William visited Manchester today (Image: GETTY )

prince william kate middleton manchester terror attack memorial

Prince William and Kate paid tribute to the 22 victims of the terror attack (Image: GETTY)

At the memorial, the Duke delivered a deeply emotional speech, in which he acknowledged that the pain and trauma many experienced following the terror attack has not passed.

Pointing out the importance of having a physical memento of the victims, the Duke said: “As someone who lives with his own grief, I also know that what often matters most to the bereaved is that those we have lost are not forgotten.

“There is comfort in remembering. In acknowledging that, while taken horribly soon, they lived. They changed our lives.

“They were loved, and they are loved. It is why memorials such as the Glade of Light are so important. Why Catherine and I so wanted to be amongst you today.

“A memorial is a physical statement that the memory of those who died lives on.”

William also acknowledged the “lives changed that day”, referring to survivors who were left physically and mentally scarred by the bombing and the first responders.

Kate, on the other hand, laid flowers along with Manchester Council leader Councillor Bev Craig. 

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prince william kate middleton manchester terror attack memorial

Kate laying down flowers at the memorial (Image: GETTY)

Manchester City Council’s chief executive Joanne Roney said the Glide of Light was a “potent symbol of how Manchester will continue to hold those who lost their lives, and everyone who was affected by those terrible events, in our hearts”.

She added: “We will never forget them.” 

After viewing the beautiful tribute to the victims, Kate and William headed to a private reception taking place inside Manchester Cathedral.

There, the Duke and Duchess had the chance to speak with the bereaved families as well as some of the first responders involved in the response effort in the aftermath of the bombing.

Kate and William had previously paid tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack by attending a National Service of Commemoration at the city’s cathedral in 2018.  

This important engagement took place only a few hours after the Duke of Cambridge attended for the first time the State Opening of Parliament in Whitehall

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prince william kate middleton manchester terror attack memorial

Prince William and Kate met some of the survivors during the engagement (Image: GETTY)

prince william kate middleton manchester terror attack memorial

Prince William delivered a personal speech during the engagement (Image: GETTY)

Prince William joined Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the Houses of Parliament and looked on as his father read the Queen’s Speech in lieu of his mother. 

Both the Duke and the Prince of Wales attended the key constitutional duty as Counsellors of State of the sovereign. 

Buckingham Palace announced on Monday evening the sovereign, despite having hoped to be able to attend, had agreed to pull out of the event due to recurring mobility issues.

The statement read: “The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow. 

prince william kate middleton manchester terror attack memorial

Prince William and Kate got married 11 years ago (Image: EXPRESS)

“At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s Speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”

While she is battling these mobility issues, the Queen will this week continue to carry out several engagements behind palace walls, including audiences with dignitaries and politicians and a Privy Council meeting. 

Some royal fans pointed out how packed was William’s schedule today after the Cambridges’ Twitter account, Kensington Royal, announced the couple had arrived in Manchester. 

The tweet read: “We’re here at The Glade of Light Memorial Garden today in central Manchester to commemorate the victims of the 2017 terrorist attack in Manchester Arena”. 

prince william kate middleton manchester terror attack memorial

Prince William travelled to Manchester after attending the State Opening of Parliament (Image: GETTY)

Twitter user @PatBennett1 replied: “In addition to the State Opening of Parliament. #BusyBusy”

And @ClareATurner said: “Wow, along with the State Opening of Parliament! That’s a tight schedule.” 

Others thanked the royals for honouring the victims of the tragic attack, with @ChrystalAwrey tweeting: “Bless you for going! So many children were killed there.

“So many lives were destroyed by evil that day! No one should ever forget that night so it’s not repeated.”