On Saturday, the morning of the annual Trooping the Colour parade, Queen Elizabeth released an official birthday message that recognized the collective sadness across the UK. Still in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and terror attacks in London and Manchester, Buckingham Palace posted the monarch’s heartfelt letter to their Twitter page. While the Queen stressed the nation’s unwavering strength, she also acknowledged that celebrating anything would be difficult in times of such sorrow.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince William visited the site of Grenfell Tower in North Kensington Photo: Getty Images
"Today is traditionally a day of celebration," wrote the Monarch. "This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very somber national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies. As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events. During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need."
Queen Elizabeth penned a heartfelt birthday message to her nation Photo: Twitter/@royalfamily
“Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity,” the 91-year-old royal leader continued. “United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favor, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.” She signed the letter: “Elizabeth R.”
Queen Elizabeth paid a visit to Westway Community Centre Photo: Getty Images
This past Friday, the Queen and her grandson, Prince William, went to the site of the Grenfell Tower fire in North Kensington, where thirty people have been confirmed dead and 70 are still missing. Her majesty and the Duke of Cambridge paid a visit to the Westway Community Centre, where many residents sought emergency shelter following the terrifying blaze. The Queen spoke to members of the police force as well as volunteers and residents. William was unaccompanied by his wife Kate Middleton, who was attending the 1851 Trust Roadshow on the other side of town.
On Thursday, the Queen paid tribute to the "bravery" of firefighters who battled the fire and praised the "incredible generosity" of volunteers offering their support. In a statement, she wrote: "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. 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," the statement read. "It is also heartening to see the incredible generosity of community volunteers rallying to help those affected by this terrible event."