British Royal Family

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William make emotional visit to Grenfell Tower fire survivors

The royals met with residents and community workers during their brief visit.

By Candice Mehta-Culjak
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William have made a surprise visit to a makeshift relief centre for Grenfell Tower fire victims.
Her Majesty, 91, and her grandson, 34, were applauded as they arrived to the Westway Sports Centre -- a focal point for volunteers, displaced people and relatives of the missing.
The royals spent around 45 minutes exchanging words with first responders, local residents and community representatives. They also took the time to meet with volunteers in front of tables stacked high with donated goods.
According to the Daily Mail, William talked emotionally about the fire and described it as “one of the most terrible things I have ever seen."
Upon arrival, Her Majesty and Prince William were welcomed warmly.
Their visit brought a great many smiles to the busy centre.
The royal duo spent around 45 minutes speaking with first responders, local residents and community representatives.
They also took the time to meet with volunteers in front of tables stacked high with donated goods.
As they left, a man clutching a poster of two siblings who have been missing since the deadly inferno called out to the duo for help.
“Please come here,” he begged. "What about our children?"
He added: "Queen! Come here! We want to see you.”
While the monarch continued toward a waiting car, William turned and pledged to "come back" to the centre.
According to The Guardian, the distraught man went on to say they were “left to die in that tower,” adding: “Where was the Queen before this? Where was the government? Where was the media? You only come now! Left to die here by all of you."
The Queen and her grandson were heckled by a distraught man as they left the makeshift centre.
William pledged to return to the site, which sits near to the blackened building.
In addition to the visit, Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as his brother, Prince Harry, have made an undisclosed donation to an emergency appeal, helping those affected by the fire in north Kensington.
William, Kate and Harry sent the donation to the Evening Standard's Dispossessed Fund and urged others to follow suit.
In a statement issued to the newspaper, a Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The tragedy at Grenfell Tower has left a number of local people in need of urgent assistance."
"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are pleased the Evening Standard's Dispossessed Fund has immediately swung into action. As residents of the local area they are keen to offer their immediate support."
Since launching the fund, the online emergency appeal has raised in excess of £1,400,454 (approximately $AUD 2,349,261) with all proceeds headed towards those affected by the tragedy.
Wills, Kate and Harry chose to make the donation as they were "keen to offer their immediate support."
The young royals have also urged others to support the cause.
The news came as the Queen paid tribute to victims of the fire, a monster blaze which consumed the 24-storey public housing block.
In a statement from Buckingham Palace she said: “My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost loved ones in the Grenfell Tower fire and the many people who are still critically ill in hospital.”
The 91-year-old monarch, who also spoke on behalf of husband Prince Philip, went on to praise the tireless efforts of all those who worked to save trapped residents and aid those affected by the inferno.
“Prince Philip and I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of firefighters and other emergency services officers who put their own lives at risk to save others,” she said. “It is also heartening to see the incredible generosity of community volunteers rallying to help those affected by this terrible event.”
The Queen praised firefighters and emergency services who helped to combat the fire and free trapped residents.
Police have confirmed at least 30 people have died in the “unprecedented” fire, with the number of fatalities still expected to rise.
There are claims the true number could sit at more than 150.
Specialist teams and search dogs are now working to make the charred building safe to allow firefighters and police to carry out their investigations.

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