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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Manchester shortly after the Queen’s Speech yesterday to attend a very important memorial service, although Kate Middleton did not attend The State Opening of Parliament in preparation for the event.
Five years ago, on the 22nd May, a suicide bomber killed twenty two victims and injured over a thousand who attended Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester.
The heartbreaking event was commemorated yesterday at the official opening of The Glade of Light memorial.
Although the memorial opened to the public in January, the official opening ceremony took place yesterday ahead of the fifth anniversary of the attack.
Prince William and Kate joined the bereaved families of the victims for the service, which saw William, 39, present a moving speech to fellow attendees.
In the moving speech the 39-year-old royal openly shared his own experience with grief.
Speaking to the crowd, which has also been shared on The Royal Family YouTube channel, he 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.”
The Prince reminded us all “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.” A sentiment that has certainly touched us.
Prince William – who lost his mother Princess Diana in 1997 – spoke of the importance of the space as a place of solace for the families and all in the city.
Prince William ended his speech by reminding the victims’ families of the love and strength in the city.
“When we come to this memorial let’s look back with love for those we lost. Let’s look back with love for the people who cared for and protected this community. And let’s look back with love for the ongoing strength of the great city of Manchester”, he concluded.
The memorial has been described as 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” by Joanne Roney of Manchester City Council.
After the event, the royal couple – who have sons Prince George and Prince Louis, as well as daughter Princess Charlotte together – took the time to meet privately with the families inside Manchester cathedral.
The Duchess of Cambridge laid a beautiful bouquet at the centrepiece of the memorial, a white marble halo inscribed with the names of the twenty two people who lost their lives.
Kate has often recycled some of her outfits, but yesterday as a fitting symbol for the occasion she accessorised with a pair of bee pendant earrings to her outfit.
The bee is important to Manchester, as the city council explained: “The worker bee is one of the best-known symbols of Manchester and has been an emblem for the city for over 150 years. The bee denotes Mancunians’ hard work ethic and the city being a hive of activity. It has also come to represent the sense of unity in our great city.”
Sending all our love to Manchester, the victims, as well as the families effected by the horrific ordeal.